That the game was still so close owed more to Gloucester's generosity than to Worcester's creativity although that's to take nothing away from the host's fighting spirit.
Gloucester effectively gifted three scores to Worcester and squandered a whole host of chances of their own to make this a far closer match than it should have been.
Gloucester gratefully left Sixways with the win but one had to feel for the home side who bowed out of the Guinness Premiership. The hurt was obvious.
It may well have been the second weekend in May but conditions were more akin to a January afternoon with a brisk wind sweeping from one of the ground to another and temperatures necessitating club fleeces rather than replica shirts amongst the spectators.
Worcester wisely started the game using the elements at their backs to unleash a series of kicks and it led, somewhat fortunately, to the game's opening score.
Joe Carlisle's kick downfield was charged down by Dave Attwood but the ball bounced straight back to Carlisle who had room to run. The support was quick to get to him as he sped into the Gloucester 22 and a quick exchange of passes saw Chris Pennell take the scoring pass with the Gloucester defence out of position.
Carlisle missed his conversion and promptly rued the miss as Nicky Robinson immediately slotted a penalty to make the scoreline 5-3 after 7 minutes.
Gloucester then had a scare as Chris Latham's up and under was fumbled by Rory Lawson but the Australian's hack downfield was handled by Kai Horstmann in an offside position with the line gaping.
Gloucester took full advantage. Vainikolo made the initial inroads with a midfield break. Gloucester stayed patient and worked the phases before Akapusi Qera strolled down the blindside from 20 metres out with the defence nowhere to be seen and scored untouched. The difficult conversion from Robinson was pushed across the posts but it was 5-8 after 14 minutes.
Robinson then opened up the home midfield with a searing break. Molenaar was in support and Tindall stayed calm with men outside him to roll a grubber into the in goal area for Vainikolo to score. Into the wind, Robinson was again off target with the conversion.
Somewhat shellshocked, Worcester responded with a 20th minute Carlisle penalty but escaped as Gloucester failed to take advantage of the fly half fumbling the restart in his own 22.
Nicky Robinson was enjoying himself with ball in hand but goal kicking into the wind was proving problematic and a 27th minute penalty from distance slipped past the posts after the pack won a penalty at scrum time.
In fact, the Gloucester pack was enjoying itself hugely at scrum time at this point but, despite being under huge pressure, Worcester held out.
And Gloucester paid the price on 37 minutes as Nicky Robinson's long floated pass was neatly picked off by Worcester centre Alex Grove who scored under the posts. Carlisle's easy conversion nudged the home side into a 15-13 lead.
Gloucester still had time to threaten again as half time approach but, again, chances went begging and the Warriors went into half time with an unlikely lead courtesy of their two breakaway scores.
Bryan Redpath's men had dominated possession and territory and the Worcester defence had been far from robust at times but a lack of precision had prevented further scores after the first two tries looked set to open the floodgates.
Gloucester could take consolation from the fact that they would now have the wind at their backs following what would presumably have been a stern half time team talk.
Gloucester's pack were quickly back into their stride but it was another loose poece of work in midfield which allowed the Warriors to hack downfield and earn a penalty for holding on in the tackle only for Carlisle to miss the kick.
Gloucester came back and a penalty kick to the corner seemed destined to result in a second try for Qera but the flanker dropped Alex Brown's pass when seemingly destined to score with the Worcester defence stretched.
More pressure followed, via a series of 5m scrums, but Gloucester couldn't press home their advantage and Worcester survived.
Tim Molenaar then took centre stage as he excelled in defence to rip the ball out of a Warriors' grasp with Gloucester stretched before his crash ball run earned a penalty at the ruck and Robinson kicked his side into a 16-15 lead on the hour.
Worcester hit back with some impressive work from their lineout but the Gloucester pack worked overtime in defence and just kept their line intact before Rory Lawson cleared.
It was a turning point. Gloucester executed their own 5m lineout opportunity beautifully and Scott Lawson burrowed his way over. Robinson converted for 15-23.
Worcester still weren't done as they looked to sign off in style after a disappointing season. Another 5m catch and drive was repelled but Robinson was caught in his own in goal area as he looked for room to clear, fumbled the ball and Latham pounced on the loose ball to score. Carlisle's superb conversion set up a thrilling finish.
Gloucester secured possession with just over a minute left on the clock but even then Worcester weren't done and dusted as they powered into the Gloucester 22 but Willie Walker's last gasp drop goal glanced off the post and stayed out to epitomise the Warriors' season and Gloucester hung on 22-23.
|Worcester Warriors Score Card|
|Gloucester Rugby Score Card|