A GUTSY display saw Worcester Warriors edge Bristol Bears 27-25 in a nail-biting Gallagher Premiership encounter at Ashton Gate.

Ted Hill, Ben Te’o and Josh Adams went over as Warriors established a 27-18 lead at the start of the second period and looked set to pull further clear.

But Callum Sheedy’s 66th minute converted try got Bristol back in it and they had the chance to snatch victory late on.

With Te’o in the sin-bin Bears pushed for the winner but Ian Madigan missed a penalty from 50 metres out before Sam Lewis came to the rescue with a try-saving tackle on Dan Thomas at the death.

The victory was Worcester’s second over Bristol this season and keeps them three points above the drop zone.

Sports reporter Geoff Berkeley picks out the five talking points.


This should have been Jono Lance’s day to prove himself as Worcester’s first-choice fly-half after replacing Duncan Weir in the starting line-up.

But Lance suffered a blow to his head just moments into the match and Weir came on to play an instrumental role in the victory.

The Scotland international notched 12 points, three of his five kicks coming from difficult positions including a long-range penalty at the end of the first half, and his sublime, floated pass found Adams who dived over in the corner.

Weir also came within a fingertip of scoring what would have been a well-deserved try in the second half. But his right boot did enough to seal the win.


While Warriors will be thrilled to have come away with a victory this could have been a maximum-point success.

Worcester who hammered Bears 52-7 at Sixways in October were clinical in the opening period as Hill crashed over and Te’o dotted down before Adams showed off his athleticism to score in the corner.

The momentum was with Warriors and they were desperate to get the bonus point wrapped up after the interval.

Hill was stopped inches from the try-line after a great lineout move before Weir had a score ruled out. It looked like Weir had touched the base of the post only for the TMO to chalk it off for losing control of the ball.

This was the slice of luck Bristol needed as they hit back with a converted try from Sheedy to set up a tense finale.


To lose Bryce Heem whose wife was due to give birth on the morning of the game was not the best preparation for Warriors.

The Sixways side then suffered the blow of losing Niall Annett to the sin-bin after just five minutes for a collapsing a maul that resulted in a penalty try.

And with 10 minutes to go Alan Solomons’ men had to hang on with 14 men again after Te’o saw yellow for offside.

However Worcester responded superbly to the adversity with a brilliant defensive display.

Warriors’ rush defence with players bursting off the line and determination to get men over the ball kept Bears’ attackers at bay.

There were times when Bristol did break through, notably in the dying seconds when Andy Uren sprinted clear after snatching the ball from Francois Hougaard.

But Uren was brought down metres from the line before Lewis’ thumping tackle on Thomas saw Warriors regain possession.


From making his Premiership debut to winning his first England senior cap it has been some season for Hill.

And the young flanker is going from strength to strength as he produced a magnificent showing at Bears that should alert the attention of national boss Eddie Jones.

Hill had a lot to do when he collected Hougaard’s pass six metres out but with sheer brute force he powered over.

He also made more metres than any other Worcester forward, only Marco Mama carried the ball more times and his tackle count was the third highest in the team. It’s quite incredible to consider that he is still a teenager.


This is shaping up to be an enthralling fight for survival.

After Warriors’ triumph at Bears all the pressure was on bottom club Newcastle Falcons to respond against Sale Sharks.

But Falcons came from behind to win 22-17 at St James’ Park and extend their winning streak to three matches.

Three points now separate Worcester and Newcastle but Leicester Tigers and Bristol are also in danger going into the final five games.

Defeats for Tigers and Bears have left them five and seven points respectively above the relegation zone.