Honours even at Sixways
Tight contest comes alive in closing stages
Last Updated: September 15, 2012 4:15pm
Tense struggle: Gloucester and Worcester play out draw
Substitute Freddie Burns kicked a dramatic penalty deep into injury time to give Gloucester a 16-16 draw with Worcester at Sixways.
Andy Goode looked to have secured a first Aviva Premiership victory of the season for the Warriors four minutes into stoppage, but Worcester could not hold on as Burns struck with the final kick of an otherwise dire contest to secure a draw.
Gloucester centre Henry Trinder and Worcester replacement prop James Currie scored second-half tries, while Goode slotted two penalties and his team-mate Joe Carlisle a penalty and conversion.
Burns, who went on in the second period, slotted a penalty and conversion from his two kicks at goal and there was a penalty double from Billy Twelvetrees, but neither side covered themselves in glory.
Conditions were ideal for a free-flowing spectacle, yet both teams' repeated failure to master basic handling skills helped render the game largely a non-event.
Twelvetrees found his range inside the opening two minutes, landing a 50-metre penalty that served notice to the Warriors he meant business.
Goode slotted an equalising strike 10 minutes later, although only after he required lengthy treatment following a crunching tackle by Gloucester scrum-half Dan Robson.
Gloucester regained the lead through another Twelvetrees penalty, and after missing two penalties Goode was then sin-binned after taking out Trinder off the ball, and the visitors piled on pressure as half-time approached.
Wing James Simpson-Daniel was guilty of a woeful blunder when he failed to gather possession with Worcester's line at his mercy, yet 14-man Worcester somehow held out under intense pressure, trooping off just three points adrift.
Carlisle took over kicking duties while Goode served his 10-minute spell on the sidelines, and an angled penalty success made it 6-6 in a game that badly needed some inspiration.
Gloucester boss Nigel Davies made his first substitutions just 13 minutes into the second period, one of which included Burns replacing Mike Tindall and Twelvetrees reverting to his more familiar inside centre position.
Burns, who scored 39 points in Gloucester's opening two league games against Northampton and London Irish, looked to make an immediate impression on the contest.
He mixed his kicking game well but errors abounded around him until Gloucester struck with the game's first try 14 minutes from time.
Monahan made it possible through a powerful touchline burst and, as Worcester defenders desperately scrambled back, the ex-Rotherham player's well-timed pass sent Trinder sprinting over.
Burns converted but Worcester stirred to set up a gripping finale the game hardly deserved when Currie ploughed over for a try that Carlisle improved.
Gloucester found themselves stretched defensively for the first time and Worcester entered the final five minutes pushing hard to turn territorial dominance into points.
The victory they coveted looked to have arrived deep into injury time when Goode kept his nerve under intense pressure, but then Warriors' front-row infringed and Burns made it 16-16 with the game's final kick.