Gloucester 27 Worcester 16: Drahm's rash act helps Gloucester past limited opponents

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Instant Karma got Shane Drahm in no uncertain terms yesterday. As he nursed a heavily-bandaged right thigh and a swollen eye on the touchline in the dying minutes, the Worcester fly-half had time to ponder what possessed him to shoulder-charge his opposite number Ryan Lamb as they headed for the sin bin 30 minutes into this match.

Drahm was forced to watch as Gloucester sent their near neighbours home in the knowledge that they have not yet managed to beat Dean Ryan's side in any competition since arriving in England's top flight.

If the opening period was a mix of the good, bad, sad and ugly, not to mention some maddening moments when Gloucester were guilty of wasting glorious opportunities, the second confirmed the hosts had more than the mere blood and guts Worcester offered. Anthony Allen was the good, making some exhilarating breaks, but the bad was a direct result as Gloucester were incapable of responding to his promptings. Even so, victory was ample compensation in their bid for a top-five finish.

As for the ugly, that belonged not so much to the flurry of fists Lamb and Drahm threw at each other, but to the incident that followed as they walked off. Drahm shoulder-charged Lamb from behind and proceeded to have a less than courteous word in his ear. No wonder there were howls of protest from the home crowd.

And the sad? That had to be Gloucester's head coach, Ryan, feeling the need to leave his seat in the stand to tell his players how to organise themselves in the temporary absence of their No 10. If they couldn't work that out for themselves, there's clearly something very wrong somewhere.

At least the home side were able to finish off one of their many chances with the wing James Simpson-Daniel crossing in the 38th minute, fair reward for the manner in which Gloucester weathered an early storm from their visitors.

That touchdown and Mike Tindall's brace of penalties while Lamb was in the sin bin outweighed Drahm's 29th-minute penalty to give the hosts an 11-3 half-time lead.

Once they returned, Lamb and Drahm's duel was limited to a post-break penalty swap, which the visitor won by two to one, before the replacement scrum-half Andy Gomarsall's try and Drahm's conversion put the visitors into the lead for the last time. But justice was done when Lamb kicked the 68th-minute penalty that put his side into a lead they were not to surrender.

The England Under-21 star's superb long pass then created the space for Mark Foster to go over in the corner, a feat the wing repeated with the last act.

Gloucester: O Morgan (L Mercier, 55); J Simpson-Daniel, M Tindall, A Allen, M Foster; R Lamb, P Richards; P Collazo (T Sigley, 64), M Davies, J Forster, A Eustace (J Pendlebury, 55), A Brown, P Buxton (capt; L Narraway, 61), J Forester, A Hazell.

Worcester: T Delport (S Whatling, 54); U Oduoza, D Rasmussen, T Lombard, G Trueman; S Drahm (R Blaze, 65), M Powell (A Gomarsall, 55); T Windo (M MacDonald, 68), C Fortey (G Hickie, 61), T Taumoepeau (L Fortey, 76), P Murphy, E O'Donoghue, P Sanderson (capt), K Horstmann, T Harding (S Vaili, 62).

Referee: D Rose (Warwickshire).

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