- The Championship
- Friday, April 6th 2018
Will Carpenter reports from Ladybay
Report: Nottingham 17-60 Bristol Rugby
Friday, April 6th 2018
Bristol Rugby took a major step towards the GKIPA Championship title - and promotion back to the Premiership - with an eight-try demolition of Nottingham at Lady Bay on Friday night.
Pat Lam’s side now require just two points from the two remaining league fixtures to secure an immediate return to the top-flight, after two tries apiece from Luke Morahan and Nick Fenton-Wells, and further scores for Jason Harris-Wright, Jordan Crane, Alapati Leiua and Tusi Pisi completed an emphatic away-day performance in the Midlands.
Tom West and Jimmy Stevens crossed in either half for the hosts, but they were mere consolation as Bristol romped to a 19th league victory of the season.
It was a scintillating start from the visitors, who opened the scoring as early as the first minute when Luke Morahan applied an acrobatic finish to a sweeping set-piece move in the right-hand corner.
Ian Madigan added the conversion and then a seventh-minute penalty to commence another faultless kicking display from the fly-half, before the hosts hit back with a try from Tom West, picking through the middle of a ruck to touch down, with Lyons converting.
Madigan landed a second penalty and then a second conversion, after Jason Harris-Wright had bundled over at the back of a powerful Bristol maul, as Lam’s side took charge midway through the first half.
Lyons’ penalty reduced the deficit, but only temporarily, as Sam Jeffries break and offload located Jordan Crane to finish well from close range shortly before half-time.
Bristol began the second half in identical fashion to the first, with an early try from wing Luke Morahan, who added a strong finish to a patient spell of play in the Nottingham half.
Ian Costello’s side crossed for their second of the evening on 53 minutes courtesy of Jimmy Stevens, as the hosts began to gain a foothold in the second-half.
But Alapati Leiua touched down in the corner to close out the Nottingham revival, before Fenton-Wells quick-fire double – either side of a Tusi Pisi interception – rounded off a clinical performance on the road.
It was a rapid start from Pat Lam's side, who took an early lead courtesy of Luke Morahan and Jason Harris-Wright.
But it was Jordan Crane's try midway through the first-half - after a subtle offload from Sam Jeffries inside the Nottingham 22 - that gave Bristol some breathing space before the break and set the tone for an emphatic away-day win.
Man of the match: Jordan Crane
This was a real captain's display from the number eight, who led from the front with a typically robust performance at Lady Bay.
Crane was at the heart of a resounding Bristol win, carrying well across the park and making his mark in defence with some bone-crunching hits.
The skipper capped another impressive display with an important try midway through the opening period, running the perfect support line to collect an impressive offload from Sam Jeffries.
Photo of the match:
Social media post of the match:
Bristol Rugby: J Williams; Morahan, Piutau (Tovey 65), Pisi, Leiua; Madigan (Searle 64), R Williams (Uren 39); Tonga’uiha (Bevington 61), Harris-Wright (Fenton-Wells 42), Cortes (Lay 47), Joyce, Holmes, Jeffries, Lam (Haining 55), Crane (c).
Replacements: Fenton-Wells, Bevington, Lay, Haining, Uren, Searle, Tovey.
Nottingham Rugby: Scanlon, Robinson, Cobden, Hakalo, Millett, Lyons, Veenendaal; West, Stevens, Hall, Qualter, Cardall, Morris, Everard, Coghlan.
Replacements: Brownlie, Penman, Hooper, Buckley, Poullet, McConnell, Williams.
- West, Stevens
- Lyons (2)
- Yellow Cards:
- Harris-Wright, Crane, Leiua, Pisi, Morahan (2), Fenton-Wells (2)
- Madigan (4), Searle (3)
- Madigan (2)
- Yellow Cards: