Warriors made it four home wins in a row and two bonus point wins out two in the Premiership Rugby Cup with a hard-earned win in an entertaining contest in front of a bumper festive crowd at Sixways.
Both clubs opted to field youthful sides with Warriors giving debuts to five current members of the Three Pears Academy with a sixth, lock Cheick Kone, an unused replacement.
All played their part in another solid team performance but it was experience up front that gave Warriors the edge after they went behind to an early try from Gloucester centre Tom Seabrook.
Graham Kitchener bossed the lineouts, Matt Garvey was a dominant physical presence against his former club and Murray McCallum anchored the scrum on his debut having arrived at Sixways from Glasgow Warriors on the day before the match.
On the other side of the scrum looseheads Kai Owen and Lewis Holsey scored their maiden tries from driving mauls with Holsey’s 12 minutes from time securing the bonus point.
Justin Clegg, who had a storming game on the blindside flank, clattered over for the opening try after good work by wing Jack Johnson who then scored the second himself, to make it two tries in as many appearances since he arrived from Hartpury.
There were a few frayed nerves at the end when Gloucester scored two late tries to claim a losing bonus point but Warriors re-asserted themselves in injury time, forced Gloucester to concede penalties under pressure and with the seconds ticking away Billy Searle sensibly opted to run down the clock by kicking the last of them for goal to send the majority of a 9,588 crowd home happy.
Having scored ten tries against an inexperienced Bristol side in their opener, Warriors knew that a young Gloucester side, who had beaten Bath and Exeter with try bonus points, were likely to provide a stiffer challenge.
Seabrook’s early try, converted by George Barton, confirmed that and Warriors needed to defend bravely to prevent the Cherry and Whites from turning further pressure into points.
Warriors had to be patient at the other end but they built the pressure and Johnson eventually prised open the defence with Clegg crashing over for an unconverted try.
Owen then burrowed over from close range to cap a busy few days as he was the only member of the squad to have featured in Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Saracens.
The game was still in the balance at half-time but Warriors’ pack applied the squeeze in the third quarter with Johnson applying the finish to a sustained attack that gradually wore Gloucester’s defence down.
Holsey marked his first appearance since August 30 2020 following his recovery from a shoulder injury with the fourth try which gave Warriors a 17 points cushion.
They needed it as replacement hooker Seb Blake went over from close range and then wing Alex Morgan raced away from halfway with Barton converting both.
But Warriors regained their composure, played sensible pragmatic rugby for the last two minutes and Searle made certain of the win with his late penalty.
Warriors | 15 Tobi Wilson (Titcombe 73), 14 Jack Johnson, 13 Perry Humphreys, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Tom Howe, 10 Billy Searle (CC), 9 Ollie Wynn (Miles 74), 1 Kai Owen (Holsey 58), 2 Isaac Miller (Cutting 60), 3 Murray McCallum (Murphy 59), 4 Matt Garvey (CC), 5 Graham Kitchener (Monks 68), 6 Justin Clegg, 7 Jack Forsythe, 8 Tom Dodd.
Replacements | 16 Beck Cutting, 17 Lewis Holsey, 18 Ben Murphy, 19 Cheick Kone, 20 James Scott, 21 Morgan Monks, 22 Tom Miles, 23 Charlie Titcombe.
4m | Seabrook try 0-5
5m | Barton con 0-7
29m | Clegg try 5-7
39m | Owen try 10-7
49m | Johnson try 15-7
50m | Searle con 17-7
68m | Holsey try 22-7
69m | Searle con 24-7
77m | Blake try 24-12
78m | Barton con 24-14
79m | Morgan try 24-19
80m | Barton con 24-21
80m | Searle pen 27-21