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Report: Worcester Warriors 30-30 Bristol Rugby

Worcester win 59-58 on aggregate

Bristol’s Premiership hopes were left in tatters after a nailbiting 30-30 draw at Sixways.

Andy Robinson’s men led by thirteen points going into the closing stages, but two yellow cards and two last-gasp tries ensured Worcester earned promotion by a single point on aggregate.

In a bruising first period, Ryan Lamb and Nicky Robinson exchanged penalties, while David Lemi came close to scurrying over following a sharp counter-attack.

Robinson struck the upright with a further penalty attempt, before Lamb notched a simple three pointer in front of the posts to put his side 6-3 up.

Robinson’s penalty drew Bristol level, but Chris Pennell’s touchdown gave the Worcester the ascendancy late in the first period.

The full back reacted quickest to a fortuitous bounce to squeeze over in the corner for a converted try.

And Lamb’s penalty goal soon after put Worcester in control at 16-6 at the end of a breathless forty minutes.

Bristol flew out of the traps in the second half and reduced the deficit with a successful Robinson three-pointer.

Mitch Eadie’s break almost put Matthew Morgan clear as Bristol piled on the pressure.

Then, when Cooper Vuna was sin-binned for an illegal infringement, Jack Lam crashed over from a driving lineout, while Robinson converted to bring the deficit back to a single point.

With the numerical advantage, Jack Tovey latched onto David Lemi’s smart pass to canter over in the corner for a converted score.

Rampant Bristol added a third try as replacement Matthew Morgan waltzed his way around his marker to touch down.

A penalty try and a Jack Lam yellow set up a nailbiting closing stages, but Dwayne Peel’s sin-bin, followed by Pennell going over in the last play of the game, earned Worcester promotion in the cruelest of circumstances.

Worcester Warriors:

Chris Pennell; Tom Biggs, Alex Grove, Ryan Mills, Cooper Vuna; Ryan Lamb, JB Bruzulier; Val Rapava Ruskin, Agustin Creevy, Nick Schonert, Jon Thomas, James Percival, Mike Williams, Sam Betty, GJ van Velze (c).

Replacements: Niall Annett (for Agustin Creevy, 64 mins), Ryan Bower (for Val Ruskin, 49 mins), Joe Rees, Leonardo Senatore, Jamie Shillcock, Ravai Fatiaki, Ben Howard.

Bristol Rugby:

Jack Wallace; Charlie Amesbury, Jack Tovey, Ben Mosses, David Lemi; Nicky Robinson, Dwayne Peel (c); Kyle Traynor, Chris Brooker, Gaston Cortes, Ben Glynn, Mark Sorenson, Marco Mama, Jack Lam, Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: Max Crumpton (for Chris Brooker, 70 mins), Anthony Perenise (for Anthony Perenise, 53 mins), Glen Townson (for Mark Sorenson, 71 mins), Olly Robinson, Tom Kessell, Matthew Morgan (for Jack Wallace, 56 mins), Gareth Maule.

Referee: JP Doyle
Attendance: 12,024