WORCESTER Warriors Development XV's first match of the new season ended 28-28 with Bristol after an epic battle under the lights at Sixways.

In the first game on Warriors' new artificial pitch, defences dominated the first half-an-hour as neither side could find a way to open the scoring.

But the game came to life in the 27th minute as Bristol were awarded a penalty try before Billy Searle converted.

Tiff Eden got Warriors off the mark with a penalty but Charlie Amesbury's converted try gave Bristol a 14-3 lead.

Warriors, who were overseen by defence coach Simon Cross, refused to let Bristol out of sight before the break.

They hit back courtesy of a converted penalty try before Eden kicked a penalty to cut the visitors' lead to 14-13 at the interval.

Bristol dominated in the early stages of the second period as Marc Jones grounded before Searle converted once again.

But the match was turned on its head thanks to quick-fire tries from Jamie Shillcock and Alex Hearle, who both showed great pace to race over the line.

The tries put Warriors 25-21 ahead but the scoring didn't end there.

Andy Uren forced his way over for Bristol before Eden ensured the sides shared the spoils with a late penalty.

The development XV included the three players who helped England to the World Rugby Under 20 Championship this summer.

Twelve of Warriors' starting line-up were age-grade internationals as they looked to push their stake for a first-team place.

Warriors: Shillcock; Hearle, Stelling, Butler, Adams; Eden, de Cothi; Appiah, Singleton, Morris (White 40-44), Hewitt, Kitchener (Clegg 65), Taylor, Xiourouppa (Smith 44), Mama. Replacements not used: Cutting, Dodd, Nash, Dickson, Bullivant.