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Toby Fricker tries help Pat Lam's Bristol to victory over Worcester

By PA

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Toby Fricker scored two tries as Bristol ensured Worcester extended their miserable away record as they crashed to a 27-5 defeat at Ashton Gate.

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The Warriors have not won away in any competition since beating London Irish at the Stoop in September 2020 but had they taken their chances, they could certainly have run the home side a whole lot closer.

Despite having the lion’s share of possession and territory, Warriors could manage only a single try from Noah Heward while potent Bristol scored four.

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Sam Jeffries and Tom Whiteley added to Fricker’s double, with Callum Sheedy kicking a penalty and two conversions.

Ethan Waller led out the Warriors to celebrate his 100th appearance for the club but they soon fell behind to a fifth-minute penalty from Sheedy.

Worcester suffered a further blow when lock Andrew Kitchener was forced to leave the field having failed a head assessment.

The visitors overcame the setbacks to build up a period of sustained pressure, with Francois Venter and Perry Humphreys both being dragged down with the line beckoning.

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Warriors then blew a golden opportunity to open their account when they created a clear overlap but Jamie Shillcock threw the scoring pass to Heward forward.

Minutes later they had another chance to come onto the scoreboard but Finn Smith was off target with a 40-metre penalty attempt so Sheedy’s penalty was the only score of the first quarter.

Worcester had dominated that period but failed to make it count as the hosts rose from their slumber to provide their supporters with something to cheer.

A brilliant 40-metre side-stepping run from Alapati Leiua caused havoc in the visitors defence but Bristol could not benefit from the centre’s efforts, although their scrum dominance still enabled them to keep the pressure on.

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Four times they opted for scrums instead of taking an easy three points and eventually it paid dividends when skilful passing provided Fricker with an easy run-in.

The situation became rapidly worse for Warriors when Luke Morahan stormed away from the kick-off to gain a platform in the visitors 22. Bristol lost possession but soon regained it for an alert Sheedy to send Jeffries away on a 25-metre run to the line.

Sheedy missed both conversions so his side led 13-0 at the interval.

Worcester badly needed the first score of the second half and Shillcock gave them early encouragement with an excellent kick and gather before Warriors scored a splendid try with Heward diving airborne to avoid crashing into touch for a spectacular finish.

Warriors’ hopes of a comeback were short-lived as replacement scrum-half Whiteley matched Heward’s effort by darting past two defenders for a superb solo try.

Heward was helped off with a leg injury before Worcester squandered another two good opportunities to allow Bristol to break out and score a second from Fricker.

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