Premiership: Gloucester 36-3 Worcester Warriors
|Gloucester (3) 36|
|Tries: Ackermann, Harris, Rees-Zammit 2, Morgan Cons: Cipriani 4 Pens: Cipriani|
|Worcester (3) 3|
Gloucester ran in five second-half tries as they ultimately crushed Worcester to claim their second bonus-point Premiership win of the season.
Warriors' outstanding defence had limited the hosts to just one Danny Cipriani penalty to tie it up at 3-3 at the break.
But Gloucester old boy Ryan Mills' 56th-minute yellow card was crucial.
Ruan Ackermann and Chris Harris both crossed, before wing Louis Rees-Zammit (2) and Ben Morgan added further tries.
Worcester had only ever won once previously at Kingsholm, in April 2009, and after starting the night fourth in the table, the confident Warriors looked as if they might be in line for another victory when they led through Duncan Weir's early penalty.
But, after surviving two disallowed tries to hold that lead until the final kick of the first half, they caved in once centre Mills had been sin-binned - and never recovered their previous composure as Gloucester ran riot.
From frustration to five tries
Gloucester may have started to think it might not be their night when they had two first-half tries turned down.
The first was clear-cut after exciting Welsh teenager Rees-Zammit hoisted a high ball to the right corner, for England World Cup scrum-half Willi Heinz to arrive first and ground the ball. But the Gloucester man had started from a position at least two yards offside and the score was chalked off.
Morgan then went over from a maul but appeared to lose control as he tried to ground the ball, persuading the TMO to overturn Christophe Ridley's call.
After Weir had fallen short with a second penalty attempt, Cipriani then missed his first chance when he hit the post before he then levelled with the last kick of the half.
Worcester had been under almost constant pressure throughout the first 40 minutes - and their persistent infringements finally told when Mills was the one sent to the bin against his former club.
Having been stretched to their limits to keep Gloucester out over the previous hour, playing a man short was always likely to prove a tipping point for Worcester, and the hosts twice crossed the whitewash in the 10 minutes that Mills was off the field.
Within five minutes, the dam finally burst when Ackermann dived over to the right of the posts before centre Harris then finished off a scrappy chase involving Cipriani and Rees-Zammit to somehow get in at the left corner.
And, even with numbers restored to parity, there was more to come for the hosts.
Rees-Zammit reached Billy Twelvetrees' kick through to go in under the posts on 69 minutes. And there were two more to come in the final 10 minutes from Morgan and 18-year-old Rees-Zammit.
On a night when Gloucester went third ahead of their next assignment against leaders Northampton, the only downside was losing winger Ollie Thorley after he failed a head injury assessment and he is now a doubt for that game.
Warriors started the night in fourth, equalling the highest place they have ever been in the Premiership, back in 2005. But they now drop to fifth, and may have slipped a further couple of places by the time they host London Irish.
Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:
"I'm happy things finally clicked for us. To be 3-3 at half-time showed how hard it was for us but they then gave away a yellow card and things finally came together.
"They gave away so many penalties that they were on a warning and that pressure told.
"Louis Rees-Zammit has a lot of self belief. He is alert and he has speed. The biggest thing for him now is to stay humble and keep learning."
Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons told BBC Hereford & Worcester:
"It was the price we paid for not having possession of the ball - and eventually the pressure told.
"We defended valiantly for 60 minutes. Even then, two of the tries could have been avoided. But credit to Gloucester, they played really well. In most areas, they shaded us.
"We've just got to get back on the horse against London Irish in what is a massive game for us next Saturday."
Gloucester: Marshall; Rees-Zammit, Harris, Atkinson, Thorley; Cipriani, Heinz (capt); Rapava Ruskin, Marais, Balmain; Craig, Mostert, Ackermann, Ludlow, Morgan.
Replacements: Gleave, Hohneck, Ford-Robinson, Grobler, Clarke, Simpson, Twelvetrees, Sharples.
Worcester: Pennell; Humphreys, Beck, Mills, Nanai; Weir Hougaard; Black, Moulds (capt), Schonert, Bresler, Kitchener, Hill, Lewis, du Preez.
Replacements: Taufete'e, Bower, Carey, Fatialofa, van Velze, Heaney, Lance, Shillcock.
Sin bin: Mills (56).
Referee: Christophe Ridley.