WORCESTER Warriors received a heavy dose of reality in the shape of a demoralising 20-minute period at Gloucester.

After an hour it was 3-3 but by the end of the match it was 36-3 as the Cherry and Whites ran riot with five unanswered tries.

Warriors went into the M5 derby in fourth position in the Gallagher Premiership but there was only one side that demonstrated top-four credentials.

A Louis Rees-Zammit brace and tries for Chris Harris, Ruan Ackermann and Ben Morgan saw Gloucester blitz sorry Worcester.

Geoff Berkeley picks out five talking points from Friday night’s horror show.


No tries, no territory and no plan of attack. Warriors were woeful in possession and were on the receiving end of a thrashing.

Yes, Worcester led 3-0 for 39 minutes with some stout defending but Gloucester had two tries disallowed in the first half and once they broke through there was only going to be one winner.

There were rare bits of quality as Duncan Weir created an opening for Ashley Beck with a grubber, Perry Humphreys almost scored from a kick and chase and Matt Moulds and Ted Hill linked up brilliantly from a lineout.

But that was all Warriors had to offer in 80 minutes of rugby. There were a lack of strike moves, width to their play or anything imaginative that could catch Gloucester off guard.

They just hit up the middle with one-off runners as game managers Weir, Francois Hougaard and Ryan Mills seemed bereft of ideas in a one-dimensional attack.


There is only so long you can defend and concede penalties before you pay a heavy price.

After a series of infringements referee Christophe Ridley eventually lost patience with Warriors as he sin-binned Mills for going off his feet.

At that stage it was 3-3. But by the time Mills returned Gloucester were 15-3 up with two tries on the board and all the momentum going their way.

Warriors’ ill-discipline cost them dear as the penalty count continued to rise, reaching 15 by full-time.

Boss Alan Solomons brought on his replacements to try to turn the tide or at least stem it, but they surrendered field position with Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Michael Fatialofa and Ryan Bower all penalised.

Van Velze was also at fault for Gloucester’s fifth try when he fumbled inside Warriors’ 22 before the ball was moved wide and Rees-Zammit touched down for his second at the death.


While Mills’ yellow proved costly for Warriors, Gloucester were lucky not to lose Ackermann just before the break.

With Warriors leading 3-0 at that point, television match official Stuart Terheege alerted Ridley to a potential forearm to Weir’s head from Ackermann.

Former England wing and BT Sport pundit Ugo Monye said Ackermann “could be in trouble here” while the incident was being reviewed on the big screens.

But Ridley felt the forward was in a “natural fending position” when he collided with Weir and added: “His arm was close to his body, that happens a lot in rugby matches so no foul play.”

Ridley then went back to the original decision of a Gloucester penalty and Cipriani levelled the scores with the last kick of the half.

But with officials trying to crackdown on high tackles it was a surprise Ridley did not reach for a card as Ackermann did make contact with Weir’s head.


Pressure is building on the club’s first-team stars as a group of wannabe Premiership starters continue to knock on Solomons’ door with strong cases for selection.

A day after Warriors’ hammering at Kingsholm, Worcester Cavaliers restored some pride by beating Gloucester United 31-29.

Had Jono Kitto not got sin-binned Cavaliers may well have run out comfortable winners.

They are now clear at the top of the Premiership Shield table and are giving Solomons some food for thought.

The versatile Scott van Breda who spearheaded Cavaliers’ 11-try trouncing of Wasps A last Monday deserves a chance in Warriors’ starting XV while lock Andrew Kitchener, back-rower Matt Cox, wing Tom Howe and prop Kai Owen should also be in the frame.


A victory over Gloucester would have seen Warriors rise to second on Friday night.

But that opportunity will now seem like a distant dream as they head into another Christmas on the back of a chastening defeat.

Twelve months ago, Worcester were thrashed 32-6 by Northampton Saints at Sixways.

The result at Kingsholm – a ground Warriors have not won at since 2009 – was just as embarrassing and should be a reality check for Solomons and his players.

Warriors may have three wins to their name, but they have yet to fire on all cylinders and will now be need to produce a big performance in front of their home fans when they tackle London Irish on Saturday (3pm).