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Worcester Warriors 16 Gloucester Rugby 16

15 Sep 2012
Worcester Warriors 16 Gloucester Rugby 16

Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns came off the bench to slot a penalty with the last kick of the game that denied Worcester Warriors their first Aviva Premiership win of the season in a disjointed affair at Sixways.

Andy Goode looked to have won it for the home side when he kicked a penalty with only seconds remaining but an infringement in a scrum from the re-start deep into added time cost them dear.

This does mark the first positive result for the Warriors this season and ends a run of six defeats in a row stretching back to last season but that will be scant consolation for Richard Hill’s men.

The Warriors had more than enough chances to win the game but only had a James Currie try to show from an attacking point of view while Henry Trinder scored Gloucester’s sole try of the game.

It was the away side that struck first when Billy Twelvetrees, starting at fly-half in place of Burns who injured his ankle last weekend against London Irish, landed a monster penalty from near the halfway line.

Worcester grew into proceedings thereafter and Goode had the home side back on level terms in the 13th minute after Gloucester went off their feet in the ruck.

And the former England fly-half had the opportunity to double the lead as a few errors crept into both sides’ games as the half wore on but he dragged his penalty from halfway narrowly wide.

And the Cherry and Whites went straight up the other end and Twelvetrees put them 6-3 ahead with another penalty as the Warriors crept offside desperately defending in their own 22.

By now the boots were dominating proceedings as Jonny May and Chris Pennell traded up and unders while Goode continued to misfire from the tee missing a couple of kickable penalties by his own high standards.

But it was certainly the Warriors in the ascendancy and on the half hour the first try of the game looked a certainty when Chris Jones broke clear from a lineout with only grass in front of him.

However May came flying across to make a last-ditch tackle inches short of the line and when Gloucester turned over the ball it looked like the chance was lost.

But two minutes later Worcester’s try line jitters continued when Alex Grove burst down the middle but failed to reach the whitewash and a Henry Trinder interception moments later once again spared Gloucester’s blushes.

That the Warriors had not scored a try in the first half owed as much to their poor execution as Gloucester’s scramble defence and the scoreline at the interval could have been much worse.

After Goode found himself sin-binned for taking out Trinder off the ball scrum half Dan Robson looked certain to score in the corner but he passed instead of reaching for the line and the ball flew out of James Simpson-Daniel’s reach meaning it remained 6-3 at the break.

Immediately after the interval with Goode still in the bin it was Joe Carlisle who took over the kicking duties and the centre, making his first start for the Warriors this season, slotted over to level the scores at 6-6.

On the hour mark Burns was introduced and despite Worcester doing most of the pressing it was the away side who struck first just after the hour mark with a quite fantastic long-range effort.

In the 64th minute Shane Monahan, in for the injured Charlie Sharples, burst clear down the right wing before feeding Trinder who still had a lot to do before diving over on the right, Burns adding the extras for a 13-6 lead.

But that finally sparked the Warriors to life and with ten minutes remaining they finally got the try they deserved when replacement James Currie barged over after a fantastic offload from James Percival.

A draw would have flattered Gloucester and when Goode slotted over the last-minute penalty after Jim Hamilton infringed at a lineout it looked like the Warriors had their long-awaited win.

But Burns, after 25 points last weekend against the Exiles, continued his rich vein of form as he held his nerve to deny Worcester at the death.