Warriors secured their Gallagher Premiership place with another tenacious defensive display in a compelling derby at Sixways on Sunday.
Tries from Duncan Weir, Niall Annett and Darren Barry and Weir’s accurate kicking sealed the win but this was a victory based on superb defence against a Gloucester side who threw everything at them.
In the end Weir’s kicking proved decisive as the former Scotland converted all three tries and he also landed two first half penalties while Billy Twelvetrees managed to convert only one of Gloucester’s three tries.
Roared on by a near-10,000 crowd, most of them waving gold flags, Warriors were good value for their victory, which leaves Newcastle Falcons and Leicester Tigers to scrap for survival.
It was an emotional day for all concerned with Warriors but particularly so for loosehead prop Ethan Waller who had the honour of leading out the side on his 50th appearance for the club.
Warriors took the attack to Gloucester from the start and were rewarded for their early pressure when Weir slotted a sixth minute penalty after the visitors’ went off-side in defence.
But Gloucester were always dangerous with ball in hand and they scored from their first foray into Warriors’ 22 with left wing Henry Purdy crossing on the overlap for an unconverted try.
The lead last only three minutes as Weir stroked over a long range penalty when Gloucester again went offside in defence the fly-half then rounded off scintillating attack with a try which he goaled.
It was Perry Humphreys, making his first senior appearance in almost four months, who set up the ry with a scything diagonal run and excellent support play saw Weir cross under the posts.
But Warriors spent most of the second quarter in defence and Gloucester piled on the pressure with an effective driving lineout and Danny Cipriani pulling the strings at fly-half.
Billy Twelvetrees found the target with an easy penalty after 23 minutes and Cipriani then set up scrum-half Willi Heinz for a try just before the break which Twelvetrees improved.
Warriors set the tone for the second half with a passionate and committed performance. Their sustained pressure saw Annett drive over under the posts and left Weir with a simple conversion.
Warriors piled on the pressure and another magnificent sustained attack saw Barry plough over from close range and Weir made a more difficult conversion look easy.
Gloucester were not finished and they managed to work an overlap for Purdy to cross for his second try but Twelvetrees struck a post with his conversion attempt.
There were a few more anxious moments for Warriors but Jason Woodward knocked on as Gloucester went in search of the bonus point try and that allowed Warriors to win the scrum and run down the clock to start the celebrations.
Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Duncan Wei, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller (Black 66), 2 Niall Annett (Singleton 55), 3 Nick Schonert (Milasinovich 55), 4 Anton Bresler (Kitchener 62), 5 Darren Barry (Fatialofa 57), 6 Marco Mama (C), 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Cornell du Preez (Hill 57).
Replacements | 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Callum Black, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Andrew Kitchener, 21 Ted Hill, 22 Michael Heaney, 23 Jono Lance.
6m | Weir pen 3-0
12m | Purdy try 3-5
15m | Weir pen 6-5
19m | Weir try 11-5
20m | Weir con 13-5
23m | Twelvetrees pen 13-8
38m | Heinz try 13-13
39m | Twelvetrees con 13-15
50m | Annett try 18-15
51m | Weir con 20-15
57m | Barry try 25-15
58m | Weir con 27-15
61m | Purdy try 27-20