Man of the Match Ollie Thorley scored two of Gloucester’s six tries as they leapfroged Harlequins and Wasps to third in the Gallagher Premiership Table.
Gloucester mounted the pressure on the visitors early on at Kingsholm Stadium, with a try from James Hanson following a lineout, in the 14th minute of the match. With barely any time to regroup, Worcester found themselves defending their try line once again. A training ground move from the lineout put Woodward into a space, with an offload to Charlie Sharples in the corner giving the second try of the match. Two missed conversions from Cirpiani – who had already missed a penalty in the 7th minute – made the score 10-0 in the opening quarter.
Thanks to the boot of Scotland’s Duncan Weir, Worcester wriggled their way back into contention, capitalising on Gloucester’s ill-discipline with a penalty in the 21st minute, making it 10-3. Some more powerful attacking play from the men in blue forced another penalty in front of the posts, with Weir again trusting his boot to make it 10-6. Despite Gloucester’s two-try opening, they found themselves on the back foot, conceding another succession of penalties in their own 22 which brought the game within one point – 10-9 – before the half.
After an arm-wrestle of a first half, Owen Williams linked up well with Ollie Thorley, who after beating the final man with a slick side-step, went over for his first try of the game. Kicking duties were then handed over to Billy Twelvetrees, following Cipriani’s 0% accuracy in the first half, to no avail, with the centre missing the conversion. With a 15-9 lead, the hosts regained their first quarter confidence, as Clarke crashed over the line from close range for Gloucester’s bonus point try. A successful conversion stretched the hosts’ lead to 22-9, 54 minutes in.
Worcester’s Chris Pennell was sent to the bin due to ‘serious foul play’ as he took out Sharples in the air. With a man advantage, a Cherry and White onslaught of attacking play threatened Worcester’s chances of a comeback victory. Jaco Visagie proved how effective fresh legs from the bench can be, scoring a try from yet another dominant Gloucester lineout. Ollie Thorley then danced over the line for a second time, stretching the score to an impressive 36-9 lead, with Twelvetrees converting both tries.
On the hunt for a losing bonus point, Worcester’s Bryce Heem found the try line in the 64th minute, which was then converted by Weir. However, despite constant attacking play from the visitors, Gloucester’s defence – which proved solid the entire game – stayed strong, halting all last-ditch efforts from the visitors. The game ended 36-16 in Gloucester’s favour in front of a packed-out Kingsholm stadium.
After the game, Man of the Match Ollie Thorley spoke to us about his link up play with his inside men. Here’s what he had to say: “All three of those guys [Cipriani, Williams and Twelvetrees] are world class ball players, so it does create a lot of opportunities for us out wide… It was good to see Owen doing well at 12 as well; I think he’s not just a one-trick pony, he can offer a great option there”.