Worcester and Wales wing Josh Adams scored his 10th Premiership try of the season to help Warriors to victory over local rivals Gloucester at Sixways.
The 22-year-old dotted down along with Jonny Arr and Jamie Shillcock as the hosts took a 22-10 lead into the break, Matt Scott scoring for Gloucester. Henry Trinder went over in the corner to reduce the deficit after half-time. Gloucester piled pressure on Warriors, but Chris Pennell’s second penalty gave the Cherry and Whites too much to do. Worcester’s victory, coupled with London Irish’s defeat at Northampton, puts Warriors 16 points clear of bottom side Irish and all-but confirms the Berkshire club’s relegation. The two meet at the Madejski Stadium in the next round of fixtures on Sunday, 25 February. The defeat also dents fourth-placed Gloucester’s play-off hopes, with Newcastle and Bath remaining just one point behind in the table.
In an afternoon of milestones for Warriors, scrum-half Arr marked his return after four months out suffering concussion problems with a try after just five minutes. Adams, who played for Wales in their Six Nations defeat by England last weekend, also became the leading try-scorer in the league outright – overtaking Newcastle’s Vereniki Goneva. It was a scintillating first-half performance from Alan Solomons’ side, who looked buoyed by their 6-5 victory at Premiership champions Exeter in round 14. They were also helped by Trinder’s yellow card for visitors, sin-binned for not rolling away, as Adams exploited the space to breeze over moments later.
Gloucester were the better side in the second half, but an array of handling errors and some superb Warriors defence sealed their fifth Premiership win of the campaign. Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons said, “I thought we played some really good rugby in the first half, and we scored some really good tries and in the second half we defended really well. “It does put us in a better position, but we know we are going to have a mammoth game next weekend. “By focusing game by game and planning carefully, we have put ourselves into a good position, but we must maintain our focus. We can’t afford to lose our focus.” Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann commented, “We were just not good enough. We played as if we had no patience with the ball, our passes were not accurate. “Any side that wants to be in the top half of this competition, it needs to be able to back up certain performances, you can’t just rely on playing well at home. “There is no use to sulk too much about it, and you have to give credit where credit is due, and they were good today.”