Warriors were unable to build on a solid first half performance as Bristol swept to a bonus point victory behind closed doors at Sixways.
Warriors led 13-10 at half time but failed to score another point after the break as Bristol capitalised to capitalise on a plethora of mistakes in all areas of the and used their pace and power to score four unanswered tries in a one-sided second period.
The big plus for Warriors was an outstanding performance from 19-year-old wing Noah Heward who was superb in defence and undaunted by the reputations of the star names in Bristol ranks.
But with no quality possession in the second half, Warriors were condemned to another long defensive shift and, to make matters worse, replacement lock Andrew Kitchener was sent off in the final minute after a flare up between the respective packs.
Warriors’ coaches will spend the weekend scrutinising the match video, particularly the painful second half when so much possession was surrendered.
Warriors had shown resilience in recovering from conceding an early try when Bristol stole a lineout and launched a swift counter attack which was rounded off by lock Ed Holmes with Callum Sheedy adding the extras.
Warriors, inspired by Heward’s try-saving tackle on Semi Radradra, soon put Bristol under pressure.
Although Duncan Weir was off target with a penalty that would have reduced the deficit they came again with Francois Venter and Weir making ground and Anton Bresler going over for what would have been his first try for the club.
But referee Wayne Barnes went upstairs to TMO Geoff Warren who decided that proof of the ball being grounded was inconclusive.
Warriors picked themselves up and another period of sustained pressure, with Venter again prominent, was rewarded when Bristol conceded a penalty under pressure and Weir struck.
Warriors went ahead four minutes later when Weir threaded a grubber kick through the advancing defence, Heward showed brilliant footballing skills to keep the ball in play with his left foot and Nanai had the pace to beat Luke Morahan to the touchdown.
Weir banged over a difficult conversion from out wide and then added another penalty to stretch the lead.
Bristol hit back with a tap and go from a penalty which they thought had produced a try for Charles Piutau only for the referee and TMO to decide that he was held up over the line.
When Warriors were penalised for taking down the resulting scrum, Bristol took the safe option of three points from Sheedy.
There was still time for Bristol to win another penalty, which Sheedy kicked to touch and shunt Warriors backwards from the lineout. A try appeared inevitable but once again Heward came to the rescue with a try saving tackle on Kyle Sinckler which was loudly cheered by the non-playing Warriors players in the East Stand.
But the game swung decisively in Bristol’s favour within ten minutes of the restart. They muscled hooker Bryan Byrne over from close range and centre Siale Piutau then scored a try from nothing.
Warriors tried to play catch-up but handling errors were preyed upon by Bristol who secured the bonus point when replacement scrum-half Andy Uren went over for the bonus point try.
Replacement flanker Ben Earl followed up with the fifth try and the nearest Warriors came to troubling Bristol’s line was when Nanai went on a long and mazy run from his own 22 only to be hauled down just short.
Warriors | 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Tom Howe, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Noah Heward, 10 Duncan Weir (Searle 55), 9 Francois Hougaard (Simpson 69), 1 Ethan Waller (Black 58), 2 Niall Annett (Miller 54), 3 Nick Schonert (Palframan 58), 4 Anton Bresler (A Kitchener 54), 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Matt Kvesic (Cox 69), 8 Cornell du Preez.
Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Callum Black, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Ashley Beck.
7m | Holmes try 0-5
8m | Sheedy con 0-7
25m | Weir pen 3-7
29m | Nanai try 8-7
30m | Weir con 10-7
33m | Weir pen 13-7
40m | Sheedy pen 13-10
45m | Byrne try 13-15
50m | S Piutau try 13-20
51m | Sheedy con 13-22
68m | Uren try 13-27
69m | Sheedy con 13-29
75m | Earl try 13-34
76m | Sheedy con 13-36