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Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 21:56 UK

Gloucester 6-13 Worcester

Gloucester (3) 6
Pens: Barkley 2

Worcester (13) 13
Try: Talei Con: Walker Pens: Walker 2

Willie Watson (left) and Loki Crichton
Willie Walker celebrates the win against his employers with Loki Crichton

Worcester dealt Gloucester's Guinness Premiership play-off hopes a hammer blow with a shock victory at Kingsholm.

The defeat leaves Dean Ryan's side four points off the play-off places with only one round of fixtures to play.

Gloucester can make the play-offs, but need a win at Wasps on Saturday and other results to go their way.

Olly Barkley kicked two penalties, but a Netani Talei try and eight points from the boot of Willie Walker, on loan from Gloucester, proved decisive.

A bonus-point win for the Cherry and Whites against lowly Worcester would have put them level with Harlequins, Bath and London Irish on 61 points.


But coming off their 50-12 EDF Energy Cup final defeat by Cardiff Blues on Saturday, the hosts paid the price for some questionable decision-making.

Captain Gareth Delve turned down three kickable penalties in the first half, preferring instead to go for touch and possible tries.

It was a high-risk strategy which backfired, as despite dominating the early stages, the points would not come.

Delve did allow Barkley to kick a penalty that put Gloucester 3-0 ahead, only for full-back Walker to punish his own club with two three-pointers.

We are running out of steam - Ryan

And just before the interval, Gloucester found themselves 10 points behind at 13-3 when number eight Talei outsprinted home wing Mark Foster down the touchline to score unopposed.

Gloucester hooker Scott Lawson was sin-binned for illegally kicking the ball away from an attacking Warriors ruck and Worcester lost flanker Tom Wood after the break for dipping his shoulder into full-back Olly Morgan.

Barkley booted a second penalty as any hope of a four-try win gave way to more realistic targets, before Gloucester replacement Marco Bortolami and Worcester lock Greg Rawlinson were sin-binned after exchanging punches.

Flanker Apo Satala nearly grabbed a first home try on 68 minutes but was just hauled into touch two metres from the line, before Barkley hit the post with a penalty wide out.

Gloucester threw the kitchen sink at valiant Worcester in the final quarter but the visitors, just as they did in the reverse fixture last month, held on to the bitter end and deserved the win.

Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan:
"I want to be here [next season]. I can understand the fans' frustration, but you are not guaranteed to be top of the league every year.

"We have to show some patience and some support for a bunch of guys who are working very hard.

"Sometimes, we are a little bit quick to criticise when there are a people working to make this club what they want it to be.

"We are obviously disappointed to lose this game. We worked tremendously hard after Saturday's performance [in the EDF Energy Cup final] but we ran out of steam."

Worcester rugby director Mike Ruddock:

"We wanted to do the double over Gloucester, which may sound a bit far fetched given our lowly position in the league but we fancied we could do it.

"The key to it was looking at what Cardiff did. They were very physical and, actually, we showed the interviews that Mike Tindall and Iain Balshaw did at half-time [both were BBC analysts in the EDF Cup final] saying how Cardiff were physical.

"That was our goal to do the same. We had to defend for long periods and our defence was magnificent. I thought Gloucester played well but just could not break us down."

Gloucester: Morgan, Watkins, Simpson-Daniel, Barkley, Foster, Spencer, Cooper, Dickinson, S Lawson, Nieto, Eustace, Brown, Narraway, Qera, Delve.
Replacements: Sharples for Watkins (58), R Lawson for Cooper (46), Azam for S Lawson (46), Wood for Nieto (41), Bortolami for Brown (46), Satala for Qera (49).

Not Used: Trinder.

Sin Bin: S Lawson (35), Bortolami (58).

Worcester: Walker, Garvey, Grove, Rasmussen, Gear, Jones, R Powell, Black, Lutui, Morris, Rawlinson, Kitchener, T Wood, Sanderson, Talei.
Replacements: Benjamin for Gear (58), Crichton for Jones (17), Arr for R Powell (57), Fortey for Lutui (57), Ruwers for Morris (79), Collins for Talei (76).

Not Used: Lyons.

Sin Bin: T Wood (41), Rawlinson (58).

Att: 14,035

Ref: Rob Debney (Leicestershire).

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see also
Delve relishes chance to 'put things right'
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Morgan maintains belief in play-off pursuit
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Cardiff Blues 50-12 Gloucester
18 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Despairing Ryan plans big changes
18 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Northampton 40-22 Gloucester
04 Apr 09 |  English
Worcester 22-8 Saracens
04 Apr 09 |  English

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