Two tries from Bryce Heem helped Worcester beat Gloucester 28-20 at Sixways in the Premiership on Saturday.
The hosts won for the first time in four meetings against head coach Dean Ryan's former club, having lost the three previous meetings in the Premiership and European Challenge Cup.
For Gloucester, the chance to move into the top four was wasted thanks to their continuing away troubles, having won just once on the road this season. Worcester move 13 points clear of bottom side London Irish, with Bryce Heem's two tries proving to be the difference between the rivals.
Former Gloucester player Ryan Mills set up the perfect start for the hosts, kicking over the backs, causing confusion, Bryce Heem to cross between the posts. Tom Heathcote added the extras. James Hook had a chance to reduce the arrears, but his penalty sailed wide of the posts.
Two penalties later, and having both times aimed for the corner, the pressure paid off as Bill Meakes touched down, with Hook levelling the score. The parity did not last long, as Worcester retook the lead through a Heathcote penalty awarded for offside, only for Gloucester to make it 10-10 via the boot of Hook for a foul on the 22. Again, it took just moments for another chance to come, but Heathcote's long-range penalty hit the post.
The disappointment around the ground soon turned to jubilation as Heem scored his second try of the afternoon shortly after Ross Moriarty was sent to the sin-bin for the visitors, crossing the whitewash in the corner. Heatcote failed to convert, but Worcester led 15-10 at the break. Following a largely quiet opening to the second half, Worcester extended their lead 15 minutes into the restart.
The decision went to the TMO, but Francois Hougaard's effort was given at the foot of the posts. Heathcote added the extras to give the home side control of the game.
The deficit was reduced somewhat once Hook kicked his second successful penalty of the afternoon, but immediately the 12 point buffer was restored through Heathcote after an in infringement in the scrum.
Gloucester were not done there however, with Hook converting his own try having spun around his defender to touch down, making for an exciting last 10 minutes.
Any chance of a dramatic comeback was dashed by Heathcote, whose penalty just about made it through the posts and take it to the final score of 28-20.
Tries: Heem 2, Hougaard
Cons: Heathcote 2
Pens: Heathcote 3
Tries: Meakes, Hook
Cons: Hook 2
Pens: Hook 2
Yellow Card: Moriarty
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 GJ van Velze (c), 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Na’ama Leleimalefaga, 18 James Johnston, 19 Dan Sanderson, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Andy Symons
Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Bill Meakes, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 David Halaifonua, 10 James Hook, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Nick Wood
Replacements:16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Lewis Ludlow, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Henry Trinder, 23 Steve McColl
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan, John Meredith
TMO: Rowan Kitt