Worcester 24 Gloucester 33: Forrester fires Gloucester to glory

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Gloucester moved to the top of the Premiership with a tremendously physical victory at Sixways last night.

Worcester stay bottom but had little fortune and put up a brave show. Gloucester were all power and, ultimately, this was the difference as they recorded their seventh straight win over the home side with full-back Iain Balshaw grabbing the final try to seal the win.

It looked like the run might be in danger in the first minute when Worcester recycled the ball seven times. It was lucky for Aisea Drahm, back after a foot injury, who stepped off one boot, then the other, and left Balshaw grabbing air, to score and then convert his own try. It was some start.

Ryan Lamb then drove upfield and when stopped, he popped the ball to Jack Adams who stepped inside his centre to score at the posts. Lamb converted.

Worcester were making the best of the line-out and Phil Murphy and Richard Blaze were inflicting pressure on the Gloucester pack. Trying to halt a drive, Gloucester's Peter Buxton saw yellow and a scrum later James Forrester was sent to the bin. This was Worcester's chance.

The ball was moved right, the Gloucester cover was non-existent and Dale Rasmussen scored. Drahm converted. Lamb replied with a penalty to make it 14-10. Back came Buxton, then Forrester and Worcester prevailed by just four points while they were numbers up. Chance spurned.

Lamb reduced the deficit to one point with the first penalty of the second half, but Drahm pulled it back to four with his penalty. Lamb struck again when Kai Horstmann was yellow-carded. There was no pause in the action, but by his reappearance Gloucester had taken the lead.

Anthony Allen extended it with a smart try but with 10 minutes left Thomas Lombard scored for Drahm to convert and with the score 24-26 it was a tense finish. Forrester, as he had all night, took matters into his own hands, breaking from a scrum to set up Balshaw, who ensured the win.

Worcester: L Best (T Delport, 73); A Havili, D Rasmussen, T Lombard, M Tucker; S Drahm, R Powell; L Fortey (D Morris, 37), A Lutui (B Gotting, 61), C Horsman, R Blaze (G Quinnell, 52), P Murphy, P Sanderson (capt), T Harding (D Hickey, 29-39), K Horstmann.

Gloucester: I Balshaw; J Bailey, J Adams (M Tindall, 54), A Allen, M Foster; R Lamb, P Richards (R Lawson, 66); N Wood, M Davies, C Califano (C Nieto, 58), W James (J Pendlebury, 46), A Eustace, P Buxton (capt), A Hazell, J Forrester.

Referee: D Pearson (Northumberland).