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12th June 2017, 14:48 | west_of_england
A try two minutes from time by Ryan Tanner capped a mini recovery from 26-20 down to earn the Warriors their second win in a row in a wonderfully entertaining game at Corsham.
The result was perhaps a little harsh on the Romans as they had themselves come back from 14-6 down to lead and were good value for their six point lead going into the final few minutes.
However, penalties for dissent while in possession, gave the Warriors enough of a chance to create the position for Tanner to arrow in at the corner for the winning score.
The Warriors were chasing a second consecutive win while the Romans had lost their previous three matches and with home advantage were looking to open their account for the season.
Both sides opened well before the Romans made the breakthrough after six minutes, Kane Bond diving over from close range. Leigh Wheatley added the first of his three goals for the day.
The Warriors, though, began to get on top and dominated possession for the rest of the half. Michael Massey forced his way over under the posts, Dean Cooper levelling the scores with the conversion after 17 minutes.
The home side were being starved of the ball and indiscipline allowed the Warriors to move upfield without difficulty. It was inevitable that the visitors got their noses in front and Sean Roberts dotted the ball on the line after a sneak from dummy half on the last tackle
They extended the lead six minutes before the break when, again on the last tackle, the ball was moved wide and Massey powered over for his second try.
However, with the last play of the half, Wheatley finished an incisive move with a try, though he was unable to add the extras.
He was on target early in the second half as the Romans took a deserved 16-14 lead. The Warriors had run the restart into touch in an ambitious attack to gift Bath possession and Robbie Vannard went over for a converted try to make the score 16-14.
The Warriors immediately regained the lead. They regathered a short restart and, after winning a penalty, Ash Lewis stretched out to score and add the goal to edge the visitors in front.
It took the Romans nearly ten minutes to level matters. After receiving three penalties in quick succession, Bruce Vuetanatotoka scored out wide but Wheatley was unable to add the goal that would have given the Romans the lead again.
Connor Jones was then held up over the line and Tanner was denied a try after a knock on before the Romans edged in front once more.
The home side attacked the Warriors line without success until Ashley Salter charged over to score, Wheatley adding the goal.
The Warriors were paying the price for their failure to capitalise on possession and it took coach Kirk Lewis coming off the bench to change matters. With eight minutes to go, Roberts was held fractionally short of the line and Lewis went over from dummy half to score.
Trailing by two points after the conversion went wide, the Warriors pressed the home line and were rewarded by the Romans who conceded penalties while in possession.
Conrad Jones was held up over the line but the Warriors’ execution let them down and they conceded a penalty for obstruction.
The game was becoming frantic and littered with penalties as both sides scrapped for the winning score and finally, it was the Warriors who struck.
Attacking down the right Tanner spotted a chink in the defence and raced through to score. Ash Lewis landed a superb goal from near the touchline to give his side a four-point advantage.
They managed to hold on, but had to successfully defend one more Romans attack before the referee’s whistle brought an end to an enjoyable game.
ROMANS: Jon Redding, Ashley Salter, Shaun Allen, Jimmy Godfrey, Mike Perry, Scott Duncorn, Harry Iles, Matt Torocca, Ryan Wilcox, Leigh Wheatley, Sam Goulding, Mike Satter, James Harcom; INTERCHANGE: Rich Carlisle, Robbie Vannard, Pat Mitchell, Bruce Vuetanatotoka, Brad Wilkins, Kane Bond, Kalif Barnes.
Scorers: Tries; Bond, Wheatley, Vannard, Vuetanatotoka, Salter
Goals; Wheatley 3 from 5
WARRIORS: Josh Llewelyn; Kai Phillips, Ryan Tanner, Michael Massey, Ben Roche; Dean Cooper, Ash Lewis; Gareth Morris, Sean Roberts, Conrad Jones; Jake Thompson, Nico Tarantino; Connor Jones; INTERCHANGE: Matt Jones, James Edwards, Jack Cosgrave, Hector Silva, Sean Jones, Kirk Lewis, Ben Barradine.
Scorers: Tries; Massey (2), Roberts, A. Lewis, K. Lewis, Tanner
Goals; Cooper 1 from 4, A. Lewis 2 from 2
Referee: Ian Waters
Gloucestershire Warriors RLFC