Gloucester 29 Worcester Warriors 7

Make no mistake about it; In all but one aspect, this was not a good day for Mike Ruddock.

Not only did he watch his Worcester team buckle under the pressure of their local rivals and convincingly lose for the second time three Premiership matches, his beloved Wales were dumped out of the World Cup by a country with as many inhabitants as Chesterfield.

In fact, for him at least, the only positive to come out of what must have been four hours of torture was clear proof he's a better coach than Gareth Jenkins. It is scant consolation.

While the Worcester director of rugby immediately distanced himself from any notion the Welsh Rugby Union might look to go back to the future, he also asserted - quite correctly, that he has more than a small job on his hands at Sixways.

Worcester are yet to win under Ruddock and, but for ten minutes of mayhem ten days ago, might have lost every one of his first three games. They were certainly well second-best here at Kingsholm.

Worcester's near-neighbours remain far in advance, both on the pitch and off it. While the visitors continued to struggle with the new man's expansive demands, the Cherry-and-Whites exploded into life with three second-half tries.

Add the fact that the first game of the season at Sixways bought a crowd some 3,000 under capacity whereas Gloucester's new £10 million South Stand paid its first dividend with a record attendance of nearly 16,000 and these Wannabes and Already-Ares were separated by more than 30 miles.

That is not to say that the Worcester line-up did not produce some promising performances.

On his return to his hometown club, Marcel Garvey was bright once more, Dom Feaunati gave as assured a display at inside centre as any Thomas Lombard ever produced and, just in time for Chris Horsman to return, Tevita Taumoepeau played his best game of the season.

That was about it, though. Against opponents feted for their attacking flair, Worcester found it fiendishly difficult to get through the Gloucester defence.

Much of that was to do with the fact they lost the battle on the floor. They produced little first-phase possession and what ball they were able to produce, when they didn't kick it away they found it slowed in contact beyond the point of usefulness.

Although he didn't say so outright, it was clear that Ruddock had his concerns about the legitimacy of the way in which Gloucester contested for possession.

"I am very disappointed, I thought we were right in the game but, in the second half, we killed ourselves with penalties and turnovers in and around the contact area," Ruddock said.

"I'd like to look very closely at the DVD and see that contact area because it seemed to me that, on many occasions, the contest carried on after the situation had become a ruck.

"I'd like to look at that and possibly follow that through if I feel it's the case, because it certainly denied us the quick ball we wanted and stopped us playing the game we wanted.

"It was a very different ruck area to what I have seen this season. I need to analyse that because if we are not efficient, it puts pressure on the type of game we want to play.

"They counter-rucked well, which is fine as long as they do that from within the gate. If they are doing it from the edges, that's a different scenario."

What added to Ruddock's disquiet was the fact that his, Pat Sanderson, was sin-binned for handling on the ground.

While the game was probably beyond Worcester at that stage, they trailed 21-7 when the former England flanker was carded, the decision only rubbed salt in an open wound.

"It seemed very unfortunate to get pinged for that," Ruddock commented. But pinged is what they were - in fact, Worcester's discipline was pretty poor for most of the match.

They slipped 9-0 behind to three Ryan Lamb penalties and then, six minutes into the second half, allowed James Simpson-Daniel to claim the first try when Thinus Delport's pass hit the turf. The wing scooped the ball up, scooted outside Dale Rasmussen and twisted Delport in knots on his 50-metre sprint to the line.

On the hour, replacement Gavin Quinnell breathed life into the contest when he bashed his first carry over the line and, had Ryan Powell not lost the ball as he was going under the Gloucester sticks, the result might even have been different. But a catch-and-drive score for Olivier Azam, a Lamb drop goal and then a late effort from Mike Tindall secured yet another

derby victory for Dean Ryan's men. "A bad day all round," Ruddock harrumphed afterwards, as Worcester and Wales were left feeling sorry for themselves.

GLOUCESTER: Morgan; Simpson-Daniel, Tindall, Allen, Bailey; Lamb, Prendergast (Lewis, 77); Wood, Azam (Titterrell, 72), Nieto, Buxton (capt), Brown, Strokosch, Hazell, Narraway (Balding, 77). Replacements: Califano, Walker, Pryce.

WORCESTER: Drahm; Delport, Rasmussen (Tucker, 68), Feaunati, Garvey; Brown, R Powell (M Powell, 70); Morris (Windo, 62), Fortey, Taumoepeau, Murphy (Bowley, 76), Gillies, Hickey (Quinnell 58), Sanderson (capt), Horstmann. Replacements: Gotting, Pennell.

Referee: Mr D Rose (RFU). :