Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons felt unable to comment on Melani Nanai’s early red card which proved to be the turning point as the Warriors crashed to a 44-15 defeat to Gloucester at Sixways.
Worcester had enjoyed early dominance and led 8-3 in the 18th minute at which point Nanai was sent off for an illegal head-high challenge on Jonny May, who was unable to continue following lengthy treatment.
An early try from Ted Hill and a penalty from Billy Searle had put Warriors in front, but Gloucester ran riot after Nanai’s red card.
Ollie Thorley scored two tries, Jack Singleton, Louis Rees-Zammit, Jason Woodward and Stephen Varney one apiece with Billy Twelvetrees adding two penalties and four conversions.
Scott Van Breda scored a late consolation try for Worcester which Duncan Weir converted.
Solomons said: “It’s very difficult to comment as I haven’t had any opportunity to look at any replays. Christophe Ridley is an excellent referee and he had the benefit of seeing a number of reviews.
“There is no doubt that it had a massive impact on the game as it happened after only 18 or 19 minutes and it’s very difficult to play for more than an hour with 14 men especially after you have had five months off.
“I was pleased that we made so many line breaks, which was one of the positive aspects of the match, but I was disappointed that we didn’t finish any of them off. I thought we gave them too much momentum in the game.”
Next up for Worcester is a trip to Wasps on Friday night.
Solomons added: “We will need to freshen things up for that game as today was our first bit of real rugby and we will need to make full use of our squad.”
New Gloucester head coach George Skivington was delighted with a winning resumption.
He said: “It wasn’t the ideal start and the sending-off made a huge difference but I’m really happy with the effort but obviously there are things we can do better. However, I’m not flustered by anything I saw as I believe we can put those matters right.
“I thought Jake Polledri had a lively game up front and he was well supported by a strong performance from our front five.
“Danny Cipriani also managed the game well and put in a brilliant performance to put us in the right areas.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now