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Aviva Premiership: Gloucester beat bottom-of-the-table Worcester Warriors
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Worcester Warriors remain bottom of the Aviva Premiership table without a win to their name following a 12-6 defeat to Gloucester.
There were no tries in the game with centre Billy Twelvetrees kicking all 12 of Gloucester's points at Kingsholm while Ignacio Mieres converted two penalties for the visitors.
The victory moves Gloucester above Newcastle Falcons in the standings 13 points clear of the Warriors, who picked up a losing bonus point.
As part of the pre-match entertainment, fans were invited onto the pitch to try to get one of two giant inflatable balls between the posts. They brought one side of the crossbar down at the Kingsholm Road end minutes before kick-off, with groundstaff frantically trying to repair the damage and get the game on while the teams waited in the dressing rooms.
The pre-match incident was the only light amusement for the packed 15,629 crowd, with what followed being of painfully poor quality.
Handling errors, scrums that seemed to take an age to complete and aimless kicking left the game with very few highlights for an hour until one or two plays sparked it into some sort of life.
There was not much thought from either side on how to break down the other before the break as Worcester clawed their way back from an early deficit.
Mieres kicked his first penalty after the early setback of Twelvetrees' opening score for Gloucester with two minutes gone.
The one piece of joined-up thinking that either side put together came midway through the half when home wing Charlie Sharples was caught on the Worcester 22, setting up a move across the back line which involved centre Mike Tindall but was stopped by a needless knock-on, leaving Worcester to clear the danger.
Twelvetrees got the scoreboard ticking over again with another penalty four minutes from the break after the Worcester pack where shoved back in a scrum at a rate of knots inside their own 22.
There were slight signs that the game might liven up in the opening moments of the second half but a scrum, which took a long two-and-a-half minutes to complete, summed-up the lameness of the encounter.
Worcester, though, came away from that scrum the richer as home loosehead prop Nick Wood was accused of dropping the front row, giving Mieres a penalty shot from 22 metres which just about got over the crossbar after he skied the kick high into the air.
Gloucester edged back in front at 9-6 when pressure saw Worcester infringe in a tackle and Twelvetrees made it a third successful penalty out of five attempts.
Suddenly, a burst of energy from home replacement scrum-half Dan Robson saw Gloucester go further in front when the half-back ran to the line, was stopped and, from phase, the ball was spun across the backs where Worcester back row Richard De Carpentier was sin-binned for a high tackle.
Twelvetrees booted a fourth penalty but Worcester tried to hit back with their best period of play in the entire match as the afternoon wore down to its conclusion.
Scrum-half replacement Paul Hodgson, the ex-England international, led a charge towards the home line where Paul Warwick came within centimetres of scoring but Gloucester cleared.
And Gloucester managed to hold out as they played the final minutes of the match with 14 men as wing Jonny May saw a yellow card for a late tackle.
Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com