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Author

Will Carpenter

writes

Posted Thursday, February 28th 2019

Derby hero Strange reflects on iconic drop goal

The wind swirled, the clock ticked on, and Jason Strange waited with bated breath for the moment to strike.

He’d only been on the field for 15 minutes and was yet to land a drop goal in Bristol colours, but after 17 phases and 11 minutes of stoppage time, the fly half held his nerve to orchestrate one of the club’s most iconic moments.

It sent Bristol to the top of the Premiership and ended Gloucester’s unbeaten start to the campaign, with a kick that will live long in the memory for Strange and the thousands of supporters packed into the Memorial Stadium to witness it.

“I was just trying to get the forwards to get the ball into a good position on the field and get us as close to the posts as possible for the drop goal,” he said, reflecting on the minutes prior to the game’s thrilling finale.

“To be fair to the pack and the scrum half, Brian O’Riordon, they managed it incredibly well and then it was just a case of trusting the process, getting my head down, getting a good connection and hoping for the best.”

More than 13 years on from that momentous occasion in November 2006, Strange remembers fondly the impact that the 14-12 triumph at the Memorial Stadium had on the club’s supporters, and says he is proud to be a part of the club’s rich history.

“I think more than anything, I just remember how much it meant to the supporters and how much significance was placed on winning these derby games.  

“Particularly in 2006, there was a real bond between the players and the supporters at that time and winning these games just gives a little bit back to the fans.

“It meant so much to them, it was an emotional game and we were just so pleased to get the result for them more than anything.

“People this week have told me that they’ve seen the clip on social media. It’s something that a lot of people still talk about now and I remember after the game speaking to supporters and them saying how big a moment it was for the club.

Bristol's players celebrate a famous victory over Gloucester.

“I take a lot of pride in it because I know how big the club is and how much it means to so many people. It’s a fantastic memory and I’m proud to be part of the history.”

Strange, who now works as backs and attack coach at Cardiff Blues following a successful stint as head coach of Wales U20s, says he continues to follow Bristol’s progress and has backed Pat Lam’s men to come up with the goods during Friday night’s West Country derby.

“It’s still one of the first results I look for every week - I’ve got a lot of fondness for the club. Bristol is a real rugby city and over the past few seasons they’ve made magnificent strides.

“Pat Lam has done a great job with the culture and values of the club and they are making great progress.

“Bristol have got some great players who thrive on big occasions, so against Gloucester on Friday night, at home, I’m backing them to get a result.”

Adult tickets start from £30 and U12s from £10 for the West Country derby on Friday, March 1st (7.45pm KO) with more than 15,000 tickets already sold.

The popular fan village will be in full swing, with local food and drink outlets, as well as live music and entertainment.

Tickets are available to members to purchase online now by clicking here, or via supporter services on 0117 963 0600.