Gloucester climbed to third place in the Gallagher Premiership after sinking Worcester 36-3 at Kingsholm following a second-half scoring burst. They made hard work of it for an hour but four tries in twelve minutes forced the Warriors to surrender as Gloucester triumphed in bonus-point fashion.
Gloucester’s 18-year-old wing Louis Rees-Zammit was at the heart of victory, scoring two tries and creating another for centre Chris Harris, while flanker Ruan Ackermann and number eight Ben Morgan also touched down.
Danny Cipriani added four conversions and a penalty, giving Gloucester their first league victory since they defeated Wasps in late October. Worcester were on the board first with a Duncan Weir penalty but conceded 36 unanswered points from the 40th minute onwards as Gloucester cut loose on the back of Rees-Zammit’s excellence.
Willi Heinz captained Gloucester on his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury during England’s World Cup campaign, while prop Val Rapava Ruskin packed down against his former club. Hooker Matt Moulds marked his first Premiership start in place of the injured Niall Annett by skippering Worcester, while centre Ryan Mills recovered from a hamstring problem.
The Warriors, seeking a third successive league win, started brightly and went ahead when Weir kicked an eighth-minute penalty. Gloucester responded strongly, though, with 18-year-old Rees-Zammit running strongly and kicking into space before Heinz gathered possession and touched down, but the scrum-half was adjudged offside.
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Johan Ackermann sat down with RugbyPass at the start of the Gallagher Premiership season
The home side lost three lineouts on their own throw during the opening quarter, yet they almost scored from a set-piece drive when Morgan rumbled over Worcester’s line but knocked on in the act of touching down.
Weir missed an angled penalty attempt that would have doubled Worcester’s advantage and Cipriani quickly followed suit, hitting the post with a long-range strike. Gloucester pressure began to build in concerted fashion, yet errors riddled their forwards’ best efforts and Worcester remained in front despite playing on the back foot.
Cipriani opened his team’s account with a penalty in the 40th minute, meaning an underwhelming opening period ended all square. And there was no change to the script in the third quarter as Gloucester continued monopolising territory and possession, before they gained a temporary one-man advantage when Mills was sin-binned for a technical offence.
Connacht looked dead and buried with time running out versus Gloucester but they fashioned a quite stunning piece of play to snatch last-gasp victory https://t.co/XFdKNZvGai
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 14, 2019
Mills’ absence proved too much for Worcester to counteract and Gloucester took a 59th-minute lead when Ackermann crashed over for a try that Cipriani converted. The home side then struck again before Worcester could regroup as Rees-Zammit brilliantly freed Harris for a superb score, then the wing gathered Billy Twelvetrees’ kick and stormed past Warriors full-back Chris Pennell for another.
Worcester were finished and a bonus-point score arrived eight minutes from time when Gloucester reverted to their forwards and Morgan scored. The win took Gloucester from seventh to third, one point above Exeter, with Rees-Zammit’s second touchdown and another Cipriani conversion sealing an emphatic success.
– Press Association
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