Bath 18 Worcester 10
John Brain had warned, before Worcester's match at the Rec, that there was a danger of his players believing their own press.
The Sixways director of rugby was right to be wary. After a hat-trick of top-flight victories, Worcester served up one of their poorest displays of the season and missed a glorious opportunity in the process.
Bath, who had played 100 minutes of intense cup rugby only six days earlier, went into this encounter missing 18 players because of injury and international duty. In contrast, a strong Worcester side welcomed Ben Hinshel-wood back following his Scotland demotion but the centre had a shocker and so did the Warriors.
Victory would have surely ensured their Premiership survival with four games remaining. Ultimately, defeat - and the manner of the performance - means that Brain will have much to ponder as Worcester have another free weekend before their showdown with Saracens on March 26.
If anything, the match proved that the Sixways side simply cannot afford to have an off-day and get away with it. In order to win matches, most of the team have to perform at a high level.
They were, however, significantly below that level on Saturday as they continually hovered over the self-destruct button. Worcester's discipline was so poor in the first half that, at one point, the penalty count read 8-1 in Bath's favour.
A penalty had already been awarded before Thinus Delport's fourth-minute yellow card left the Warriors facing an uphill struggle. The South African full-back's high, late challenge on Steve Booth meant that Worcester were on the back foot from the opening minutes and that situation did not alter until late in the half.
By then, Bath's fly-half Chris Malone had punished the visitors with a couple of penalties and Worcester's much-vaunted prop, Chris Horsman, had also been sinbinned for punching.
Tommy Hayes - back in the starting XV for the first time since January 1 because of James Brown's appendectomy - slotted Worcester's only points of the first half, three minutes before the break, to give the half-time score a flattering look.
Worcester's forwards were their usual dominant selves but Bath's joy in the line-out meant that the home side were enjoying all of the possession until five minutes into the second half when the Warriors actually got some ball.
They did what they do best - catch and drive - and, after four consecutive infringements by the Bath pack only five metres out, referee David Rose awarded Worcester a penalty try. Hayes added the conversion but, after being on the back foot for most of the match, they barely deserved the 10-6 lead.
Normal service, however, was resumed soon after. The Warriors continued to give penalties away at a frightening rate and Malone kept on kicking them. By the 66th minute, the Australian had put Bath back in front with two penalties and his last-minute dropped goal put the result beyond doubt.
Worcester did have one last surge as they camped on Bath's line in the dying embers of the game but, after repelling the Sixways pack, Malone made it a pointless day for Brain's boys as he kicked his fifth penalty of the day in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
Brain said: "We missed a chance here but I don't think we deserved anything, given the way we played. It's a wake-up call and it's disappointing because this was a big opportunity missed."