Premiership: Worcester Warriors 28-20 Gloucester

Warriors winger Bryce Heem
New Zealand-born winger Bryce Heem has now scored five tries for Worcester Warriors
Worcester (15) 28
Tries: Heem 2, Annett Cons: Heathcote 2 Pens: Heathcote 3
Gloucester (10) 20
Tries: Meakes, Hook Cons: Hook 2 Pens: Hook 2

Worcester claimed successive Premiership wins for the first time in four seasons as they hung on to beat local rivals Gloucester at Sixways.

Warriors led 15-10 at the break after two first-half Bryce Heem tries, either side of Bill Meakes' Gloucester try.

A second-half pile-up by the posts earned Warriors a third try, credited to hooker Niall Annett.

James Hook's try was part of a 15-point haul, but could not prevent a rare derby defeat for Gloucester.

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While Hook also landed both his conversions, as well as kicking two penalties, Tom Heathcote was busy with the boot for the hosts, landing three penalties and two conversions for a successful kicking ratio of five out of seven.

Worcester never trailed after taking a second-minute lead when a speculative kick ahead by Gloucester old boy Ryan Mills bounced kindly for Heem, who brushed aside weak tackles from Rob Cook and David Halaifonua to score.

Despite the setback of losing injured scrum-half Will Heinz, Gloucester levelled when Hook's neat chip ahead was picked up by Meakes, who scored under the posts.

But, within a minute of gaining an extra man when Ross Moriarty was sin-binned, Worcester took advantage again by moving the ball wide for Heem to force his way over.

After Worcester's third try was awarded to Annett, Hook made it tight for the final 15 minutes when he twisted his way over but Heathcote's third penalty put Warriors back to two scores in front.

And Dean Ryan's men saw it through for a third league win in four games - and only a second defeat in six Premiership matches for Gloucester.

Things on the up at Sixways

Worcester had won only once in their previous seven meetings with Gloucester, having already lost three times against the Cherry and Whites this season (having also met twice in the European Challenge Cup).

But, having won 28-27 on the final day of the Premiership season in May 2014, when Warriors had already been condemned to relegation, this was a second successive Premiership victory at Sixways for Warriors boss Dean Ryan against his former club.

Worcester now stand 13 points clear of bottom club London Irish, who play against Saracens in New Jersey on Saturday night.

'Hougaard a catalyst' - Ryan

Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"Sometimes we've had to go outside the group to make it better. The signing of Francois Hougaard has acted as a catalyst and given us confidence.

"We look a decent team now and wins are coming more regularly now.

"That's the first time we've won two on the bounce in the Premiership in four years - and nobody can find the records for when we last did three in a month.

"That's a big challenge for us, going into next week's trip to Harlequins."

Cherry and Whites director of rugby David Humphreys told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

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David Humphreys: Gloucester Director of Rugby on defeat at Worcester

"Everything that was good last week was bad. We weren't at the same level as last week. Right from the first minute we were a little bit off the pace. We conceded early, which gave Worcester and their crowd momentum.

"We know in this league whoever you play it'll be a tough afternoon but credit to Worcester.

"The opportunities that came their way, they took. A couple of individual errors meant we conceded a couple of soft tries.

"We've built our game against our set piece and not conceding those soft tries. But we'll have to go away and look at why and make sure that, when we turn up to London Irish, we're in a much better place."

Worcester: Pennell; Heem, Olivier, Mills, Vuna; Heathcote, Hougaard; Rapava Ruskin, Annett, Schonert, O'Callaghan, Barry, Dowson, Kirwan, van Velze (capt).

Replacements: Sowrey, Leleimalefaga, Johnston, Sanderson, Betty, Baldwin, Lamb, Symons.

Gloucester: Cook; Sharples, Meakes, Twelvetrees (capt.), Halaifonua; Hook, Heinz; Wood, Hibbard, Afoa, Savage, Thrush, Kalamafoni, Kvesic, Moriarty.

Replacements: Dawidiuk, Thomas, Doran-Jones, Galarza, Ludlow, Braley, Trinder, McColl.

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