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28th Nov, 2021

Warriors downed in M5 derby day defeat

Worcester Editorial 3rd Oct, 2021

WARRIORS endured a frustrating afternoon in the rain at Sixways as Gloucester took the spoils in this local derby.

A maiden Premiership try for Kyle Hatherell and an injury-time effort from Sione Vailanu on his competitive debut were the bright spots for Warriors.

But the sin-binning of Billy Searle shortly after he had replaced the injured Owen Williams early in the second half proved costly as Gloucester scored 14 unanswered points while Warriors were down to 14 men.

Warriors also ended the match with 14 men after Club Captain Ted Hill was red-carded for a dangerous tackle although both the referee and TMO discounted a possible foot in the face before Hill made the tackle.

To add to Warriors’ frustration Williams appeared to pull a hamstring as he attempted to land a penalty that he would normally have expected to slot. That kick and a missed penalty from Jamie Shillcock, the third kicker used, meant Warriors ended the match without a point for the first time this season.

In contrast, Gloucester fly-half Adam Hastings landed six of his seven kicks at goal, including four first half penalties, which meant that Warriors were always playing catch-up.

Searle reduced the deficit to three points when he struck with a 52nd minute penalty, but that was as close as it got.

Steady rain throughout made handling difficult and dictated how the match would be played and Hastings mastered them successfully to keep Gloucester on the front foot.

Gloucester opened up a six points lead in the first quarter with two penalties from Hastings, the second of which creeped over via the left goalpost.

Warriors, having turned down one kickable penalty, reduced the deficit when Williams landed a long range penalty on the half-hour but it was cancelled out from the re-start.

Warriors were penalised at a ruck and Hastings applied the punishment and made it four kicks from four in first half injury-time when Warriors were penalised at a ruck.

Warriors began the second half strongly with Williams kicking his second penalty almost from the re-start but then missed four minutes later with the kick that ended his day.

Searle took over the kicking duties and soon found the target but when he departed, after an accumulation of team penalties under pressure the game turned decisively in Gloucester’s favour.

Number eight Ben Morgan went over from a lineout catch and drive and, just before Searle returned from the sin bin, Jason Woodward crossed after Jonny May got the ball away in a try-saving tackle from Melani Nanai.

Hatherell led the fightback when he used his strength and pace to cross for a try that Searle improved but Gloucester responded with their third try of the afternoon when they worked an overlap for Chris Harris to score in the corner.

For the second week running Warriors scored a try from the final play of the match, when Vailanu muscled over, but on this occasion there was no bonus point as consolation.

Warriors | 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Noah Heward, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Melani Nanai (Morris 75), 10 Owen Williams (Searle 46), 9 Willi Heinz (CC) (Chudley 60), 1 Ethan Waller (Thomas 55), 2 Scott Baldwin (Annett 55), 3 Christian Judge (Owlett 60), 4 Matt Garvey (Hatherell 42), 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Ted Hill (CC), 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Matt Kvesic (Vailanu 49).

Replacements | 16 Niall Annett, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Jack Owlett, 19 Kyle Hatherell, 20 Sione Vailanu, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Oli Morris.

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