- British and Irish Cup
- Sunday, October 22nd 2017
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Rugby 22-33 Doncaster Knights
Sunday, October 22nd 2017
Bristol Rugby’s seven-match unbeaten run was brought to an end on Sunday, as Doncaster Knights took the spoils in an action-packed British and Irish Cup clash at Ashton Gate Stadium.
In a match that featured seven tries and four yellow cards, the visiting Knights led for all but seven minutes thanks to a try in either half from centre, Will Owen and scores from Curtis Langdon and Tyson Lewis.
Aaron Chapman’s eighth-minute effort and a Callum Sheedy penalty briefly levelled the scores midway through the first half, but after leading 8-18 at the break, Doncaster pulled away in the second half thanks to Owen’s second and a trademark finish from Tyson Lewis.
James Newey’s second try in successive weeks gave the hosts a lifeline on 58 minutes – and after yellow cards for Michael Hills and Tom Hicks, Bristol grabbed a third late on through academy forward, James Dun.
But it proved not quite enough for the youthful home side, who gave competitive debuts to academy quartet Tom Hargan, Nick English, Will Capon and Charlie Powell, in front of 7,428 supporters in BS3.
The hosts were dealt an early blow when Jack Wallace was shown a second minute yellow card for an infringement at the breakdown, with Simon Humberstone firing over the resulting penalty to give Knights a 3-0 lead.
That soon became 8-0 three minutes later, as hooker Curtis Langdon fought his way through the melee to touch down at the back of a maul, with Humberstone’s conversion drifting wide.
Academy wing Aaron Chapman followed up last weekend’s try-scoring exploits with a third in two games on eight minutes, finishing well in the left-hand corner after being released by Newey’s fizzing pass.
A yellow card for Doncaster’s Nick Civetta – for a high tackle on Callum Sheedy - on 14 minutes ensured it was 14 against 14 for a short period, with the Bristol fly half picking himself up to level the scores at 8-8.
Wallace returned from the sin-bin and was straight into the action with a heroic try-saving tackle on a bolting Andy Bulumakau, whose offload to Tom James was spilt forward.
Humberstone’s second penalty of the afternoon restored Doncaster’s lead, before Will Owen extended it further, charging on to Tom James’ flat pass to power over from close range. The centre almost added a second as half time approached, picking another impressive line in midfield before play was pulled back for a forward pass.
Humberstone began the second half in identical fashion to the first, knocking over a penalty from 35 metres to open up a 13-point lead for the visitors.
Tyson Lewis survived a scare in-goal to slide in for Doncaster’s third on 47 minutes, shaking off the despairing efforts of Jack Wallace, who almost forced the wing into touch as he grounded the ball.
Bristol hit back with their second on the hour mark, as Sheedy gathered his own chip ahead before recycling to scrum half, Ryan Glynn, whose threaded grubber kick saw James Newey win the race to the loose ball.
Sheedy added the extras from out wide - but his efforts in assisting and converting the try were wiped out almost immediately, as Will Owen crossed for his second following a swift handling move and Humberstone’s conversion restored the visitors’ 18-point lead.
Replacement Michael Hills saw yellow as Bristol Rugby looked to fight their way back into the match – and just as he was returning to the field, teammate Tom Hicks received his marching orders for cynical penalty metres from his own line.
There was just enough time for the home side to capatalise on their numerical advantage, with academy forward, James Dun the beneficiary in the right-hand corner. James Newey’s touchline conversion was the final action of the afternoon, as referee Adam Leal brought proceedings to a close.
Bristol Rugby's second try of the afternoon, courtesy of James Newey, looked to have given Bristol Rugby a lifeline midway through the second half. But Will Owen's second, just three minutes later, dealt a knockout blow for the Knights and gave Bristol too much of a mountain to climb in the final 20 minutes.
Man of the match: Ryan Glynn
The scrum-half was at his sniping, electric best throughout Sunday's defeat to Doncaster Knights.
Glynn was sharp around the fringes and gave the hosts plenty of spark, forming a good partnership with fly half Callum Sheedy.
Glynn's deft grubber kick in behind sent James Newey over for Bristol's second, while quick-thinking from penalties took his side within striking distance on numerous occasions.
Photo of the match:
Social media post of the day:
Bristol Rugby: Jack Wallace; Ryan Edwards, James Newey, Will Hurrell, George Perkins; Callum Sheedy, Ryan Glynn; Jack Cosgrove, Ben Gompels (Bristol University), Tyler Gendall, Joe Batley, Ehize Ehizode, James Dun, Dave Watchorn (Bristol University), Nick Fenton-Wells (c).
Replacements: Will Capon, Tom Rowland, Nick English, Jack Capon, Reiss Cullen, Charlie Powell, Aaron Chapman.
Doncaster Knights: Declan Cusack, Andy Bulumakau, Lloyd Hayes, Will Owen (c), Tyson Lewis, Simon Humberstone, Tom James; Owen Evans, Curtis Langdon, Ian Williams, Nick Civetta, Tom Hicks, Alex Shaw, Sam Jones, Jason Hill.
Replacements: Jack Bergmanas, Ben Hunter, Joe Sproston, Matt Challinor, Michael Hills, Michael Heaney, James Wright.
- Dun, Chapman, Newey
- Sheedy, Newey
- Yellow Cards:
- Langdon, Lewis, Owen (2)
- Humberstone, Cusack
- Humberstone (3)
- Yellow Cards:
- Civetta, Hicks, Hills