Gloucester continued their improved form with a comfortable 17-5 win over a disappointing Worcester in the LV=Cup on Saturday.
Gloucester continued their improved form with a comfortable 17-5 win over a disappointing Worcester in the LV=Cup at Kingsholm.
A try in each half from full-back Freddie Burns and flanker Akapusi Qera, plus seven points from the boot of fly-half Nicky Robinson, saw the Cherry and Whites to victory, with wing Chris Pennell grabbing a late consolation for the visitors.
The game was a low-key affair and lacked the intensity of the Guinness Premiership battle between the sides earlier this month when the clubs had drawn 13-13. This was mirrored by the attendance of a crowd of only 7,192, as opposed to the sell-out for the league encounter.
Despite the two sides having little chance of progressing to the semi-finals of the competition both chose to field strong line-ups.
The first period of the match was enterprising but lacked pattern until Gloucester built up some pressure and Robinson kicked a simple penalty to give his side an eighth-minute lead.
Back came Worcester with their own period of pressure with powerful centre Sam Tuitupou causing problems for the home defence, but some poor passing at critical stages cost the visitors the chance of a try.
Their best opportunity fell to Rico Gear but a potential scoring pass was thrown too high for the wing to take. In addition Willie Walker had considerable time to fire over a 40-metre drop goal but failed to connect properly.
Worcester were made to pay for their failure to take their chances when Gloucester scored the opening try after 26 minutes.
The home side produced a flowing movement covering over half the length of the pitch. There was a hint of a knock on from a Gloucester forward but play was allowed to continue and Freddie Burns crossed unopposed in the corner. Robinson converted superbly from the touchline for a 7-0 lead, before missing a simple penalty attempt.
Hooker Olivier Azam was responsible for Gloucester's momentum continuing after the interval as he took a quick line-out on half way which caught Worcester badly out of position. Lesley Vainikolo was allowed to make big inroads into the visitors' defence and Worcester were penalised.
Once again Robinson was wide with an easy kick but Gloucester continued to dominate causing Worcester flanker, Chris Cracknell, to offend at a ruck resulting in a yellow card for him after 45 minutes of his debut.
Robinson did his best to bring Worcester back in the game making two errors in quick succession. First he failed to field a Chris Latham up-and-under and moments later had his clearance kick partially charged down, but on both occasions Gloucester were able to regroup and clear their lines.
Cracknell returned with no damage done to the scoreline in his absence and Worcester brought on Matthew Jones at outside-half in an effort to get some invention into their play.
Another poor pass from Worcester, this time from Pat Sanderson to Gear, again put them under pressure and the home side took advantage with Qera finishing off a good passage of play for the home side with a try which Robinson converted.
With five minutes remaining Worcester at last got on the scoreboard with Chris Pennell running strongly to finish off their best movement of the match, but it was little consolation for Mike Ruddock's side.
Gloucester: 15 Freddie Burns, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 Lesley Vainikolo, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Gareth Delve (capt), 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Marco Bortolami, 3 Pierre Capdevielle, 2 Olivier Azam, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Greg Somerville, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Adam Eustace, 20 Andy Hazell, 21 Rory Lawson, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Semi Tadulala.
Worcester: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Chris Pennell, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Rico Gear, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (capt), 6 Chris Cracknell, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Olivier Sourgens, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Adam Black.
Replacements: 16 Jack Gilding, 17 Chris Fortey, 18 Tevita Taumoepeau, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 James Collins, 21 Ryan Powell, 22 Matthew Jones, 23 Alex Grove.
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden (England), Paul Burton (England)
Television match official: Matt Peters (England), Clive Leeke (England)
Assessor: Nigel Yates (England)