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Will Carpenter


Posted Saturday, October 19th 2019

As it happened: Bristol Bears 43-16 Bath Rugby

Bristol Bears opened the Premiership season with a thumping seven-try win over local rivals Bath at a packed Ashton Gate.

Luke Morahan and Nathan Hughes crossed early for Bristol, but Zach Mercer hit back for Bath.

Mat Protheroe put the Bears 17-13 up right on half-time and his pace helped Piers O'Conor extend the lead early in the second half.

John Afoa, Ioan Lloyd and Morahan again ensured Pat Lam’s men took the derby spoils.

3 minsTRY5-0 - Attwood wins the turnover in Bath territory and Hughes breaks through the ruck to put Bristol on the front foot. The ball is moved right and Charles Piutau dances around Zach Mercer to feed Luke Morahan in the corner for the fastest ever try in a Premiership Rugby season.

6 minsPEN5-3 – Straight from the kick off, Bristol are penalised at scrum time and Rhys Priestland lands the penalty to get Bath on the board.

14 minsTRY12-3 – A second for Bristol - and it's a beauty! Harry Thacker's inside ball finds Piutau and the full back’s offload is perfect for the supporting Hughes, who scores his first Premiership try for the Bears. Sheedy converts. 

19 minsPEN12-6 – Bath win the penalty close to the left-hand touchline and Priestland steps up to land a monster kick and reduce the deficit.

24 minsPEN MISSED12-6 – It's another penalty to Bath, but this one sees Priestland's kick fade wide of the uprights.

27 minsTRY12-13 - Bath are in front. Aled Brew's kick through forces Protheroe into touch five metres out, and from the resulting lineout, Zach Mercer sneaks in the corner. Priestland's conversion gives the visitors the lead.

40 minsTRY17-13 – With half time approaching, Bristol are awarded a penalty inside the Bath 22. Captain, Luatua opts for the corner, and after strong drive from the pack, deft hands from Sheedy and Hurrell sends Protheroe over for a third try. Big call as Bristol kick penalty to the corner, before Protheroe crosses out wide thanks to quick hands from Hurrell.

HT: Bristol Bears 17-13 Bath Rugby

52 minsTRY24-13 – A try of the season contender on the opening day. Dan Thomas scoops the ball off his laces and spreads it wide, before Hughes and Protheroe combine to send Piers O’Conor under the sticks for a glorious try. Sheedy converts. 

55 minsPEN24-16 – But back come Bath again with another Priestland penalty from 35 metres. Bristol lead by eight.

57 minsPEN MISSED – Bristol have the chance to extend their lead further, but Sheedy is off target from 30 metres.

66 minsYELLOW – Big blow for Bath, who have Lewis Boyce sin-binned for high tackle on Will Hurrell, as the centre drove for the line. 

67 minsTRY31-16 - Bristol take full advantage of the yellow card, as John Afoa is bundled over from a driving lineout. Sheedy converts from out wide and the hosts are in the clear.

77 minsTRY - 36-16 - Now this is a moment. On for his debut - the youngest player to represent the club in the Premiership - Ioan Lloyd coasts in for a try thanks to Morahan's scorching outside break. 

80 mins - TRY - 43-16 - Signed, sealed, delivered by Luke Morahan. Bristol win the turnover inside Bath territory and Harry Randall feeds the Wallaby wing for his second of the evening. Lloyd converts to bring the game to a conclusion.

FT: Bristol Bears 43-16 Bath Rugby

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