A last kick of the game from Gaetan Germain broke Warriors hearts at the Stade Amedee-Domenech as Brive secured a narrow 17-14 win in the European Challenge Cup.
Warriors broke the deadlock when Marco Mama’s powerful run saw him to the tryline with Connor Braid converting and the visitors went in 7-0 up at the break.
But Brive hit back immediately in the second period as Fabien Sanconnie charged the ball down to score with Benjamin Lapeyre levelling the scores.
Val Rapava Ruskin bashed his way over to restore Worcester’s lead with Ryan Mills converting but the hosts bounced back again when Guillaume Ribes crossed from close range and replacement Germain converted to make it 14-14.
Both teams searched for a winner and in the dying seconds, the hosts won a penalty and Germain’s long-range shot dropped between the posts to pip Warriors in agonising fashion.
Both sides looked to get a foothold in the game in the early stages but neither were able to break into their opponents’ 22 until Perry Humphreys darted across field before attempting a kick-and-chase to put pressure on the Brive backline.
The hosts recovered from the minor scare and after winning a couple of penalties, Mathieu Ugalde kicked them to the corner and the forwards almost drove their side over the line.
The Top 14 side continued to mount the pressure on Warriors but the visitors’ pack held firm on the five-metre line to deny the hosts.
Carl Hogg’s men kept Brive at bay once again and managed to get the first points on the board after a spell of their own in their opponents’ 22 as Mama showed his strength and power to shake off tackles and dive over the whitewash.
Braid chipped over the extras as Warriors enjoyed a 7-0 lead.
Both sides had their share of possession and territory but neither could add anything to the scoreline before the interval and despite Brive enjoying the upper-hand at the scrum, Warriors looked dangerous with ball in hand when finding the back-three trio of Humphreys, Dean Hammond and Ben Howard.
But the hosts immediately replied after the break when Sanconnie charged down Luke Baldwin’s clearance to score with Lapeyre converting to level proceedings.
Braid then had a chance to put Worcester ahead but his penalty kick sailed wide before the hosts piled the pressure on the visitors by their tryline.
But Worcester again held firm and although Brive looked to flock down the left, replacement Jonny Arr picked up a loose ball before kicking on for Humphreys to chase as the hosts found themselves in a spot of bother.
And after applying the pressure in the Brive 22, sub Rapava Ruskin charged his way over from close range with Mills adding the conversion as Warriors went ahead 14-7.
But the hosts bounced back again when Ribes burrowed over from close range following another spell of territory by the 5-metre line and Germain slotted the extras to level the tie once again before an end-to-end finale.
Both sides searched endlessly for a winner, with the hosts looking the more likely to snatch it with territory in the Worcester 22, but the Warriors pack held firm time and time again to deny them.
And with just a minute to play, it looked as if the visitors might be able to pinch the win when playing by the 22.
However, the referee penalised Warriors at the breakdown and after Brive got into their half, they were pinged again.
The French outfit decided to go for goal to try and win the game with the last action of the match.
Germain delivered an almighty 40-metre kick at the angle which dropped just over the posts to secure a narrow win for Brive in heartbreaking fashion for the travelling support.
Warriors will play their final European Challenge Cup game of the campaign at Sixways on Saturday against Enisei-STM (kick-off 2pm).
25m | Mama try 0-5
26m | Braid con 0-7
41m | Sanconnie try 5-7
42m | Lapeyre con 7-7
55m | Rapava Ruskin try 7-12
56m | Mills con 7-14
63m | Ribes try 12-14
64m | Germain con 14-14
80m | Germain pen 17-14
Warriors | 15 Ben Howard, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Max Stelling, 12 Connor Braid (Eden 29-39), 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Luke Baldwin (Arr 53); 1 Ryan Bower (C) (Rapava Ruskin 53), 2 Joe Taufete’e (Singleton 57), 3 Biyi Alo (Daniels 35-39), 4 Andrew Kitchener (Barry 76), 5 Will Spencer, 6 Huw Taylor (Betty 60), 7 Marco Mama (Betty 6-15), 8 Matt Cox
Replacements | 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Mike Daniels, 19 Darren Barry, 20 Sam Betty, 21 George de Cothi, 22 Jonny Arr, 23 Tiff Eden