- The Championship
- Saturday, December 30th 2017
- Athletic Ground
Will Carpenter reports from Athletic Ground
Report: Richmond 22-57 Bristol Rugby
Saturday, December 30th 2017
Bristol Rugby scored 28 unanswered points in 19 second-half minutes, as they overcame a stuttering start to record a 12th successive bonus-point win in the GKIPA Championship.
In a blistering period, Jordan Williams completed his second league hat trick of the season, while Jordan Crane, Steven Luatua and Mat Protheroe all crossed, as Pat Lam’s side turned a 22-22 half-time score line into a fifth 50-point total of the season.
Williams’ first-half brace followed Luke Morahan’s ninth-minute score, but an impressive showing from Richmond saw them secure the bonus-point inside 30 minutes through Jordan Simpson-Hefft, Luc Jones, and Jon Woodward’s double.
But Bristol hit their stride after the break, and after the 18-minute blitz, replacement Protheroe’s late second completed an eight-try win.
Head coach Pat Lam made four changes to the side that overcame Cornish Pirates last weekend, with Steven Luatua returning from a rib injury to take his place in the back row. There were also starts for Sione Faletau, Andy Uren and Jordan Crane, who came in for the absent trio of Chris Vui, Rhodri Williams and Jack Lam.
Bristol were slow out of the blocks in West London and Richmond took full advantage as Jon Woodward dived over in the corner after just two minutes.
Lam’s side hit back immediately when Luke Morahan raced on to Siale Piutau’s grubber kick to level the scores, before neat work from Alapati Leiua sent Jordan Williams in for the first of an impressive hat trick.
Woodward capatalised on loose passage to cross for his - and Richmond’s – second on 23 minutes, before Madigan’s penalty opened up a five-point lead for the visitors.
Back came Richmond through Jordan Simpson-Hefft, who applied the finishing touches to a neat blindside move to edge his side back into the lead.
Luatua’s inside pass then sent Jordan Williams in for his second on the half-hour mark, but Richmond ensured they’d have the first and last say of the half when Luc Jones burrowed over from close range to level the scores at 22-22.
The half time interval seemed to serve Bristol well, and after a slow start to the first half, the visitors sprang into action in the second.
Jordan Crane collected a loose ball, knocked back by a Richmond hand, to canter over on 46 minutes, before Williams completed his hat trick just two minutes later after Uren’s sniping break.
Good ball retention in the Richmond 22 saw Steven Luatua touch down on 53 minutes, before Luke Morahan’s break from deep saw Mat Protheroe cap a sensational spell with Bristol’s seventh try.
And Morahan and Protheroe combined once again to gift the replacement his second in quick succession, as Bristol maintained their 100 percent league record.
After heading into the half-time interval level at 22-22, Bristol hit their stride early in the second half and quickly put the game out of Richmond's reach.
Tries from Jordan Crane, Steven Luatua, Jordan Williams and Mat Protheroe all crossed during a blistering 18-minute spell, as Bristol turned 22-22 into 22-50 in rapid fashion.
From here, there was no way back for the hosts, as Protheroe's late score made it 35 unanswered points in the second half.
Man of the match: Jordan Williams
This was a trademark Jordan Williams performance - pace, footwork and predatory finishing.
The Welshman followed up his first half brace with a sensational third, sprinting over from 50 metres to seal a second league hat trick of the season.
His first two scores showcased his predatory support play, getting himself on the end of pinpoint passes from Luatua and Leiua.
Photo of the match:
Social media post of the match:
Bristol Rugby: J Williams; Morahan, Piutau, Pisi (c), Leiua; Madigan, Uren; Tonga’uiha, Harris-Wright, Faletau, Joyce, Jeffries, Luatua, Thomas, Crane.
Replacements: Fenton-Wells, Bevington, Giltrow, Batley, Glynn, Sheedy, Protheroe.
Richmond: Kirby, Woodward, Mitchell, Hudson, Simpson-Hefft, Swan, Jones; Cunnew, Grimstone, Tarrant, Warden, Davies, Liston, Allcock, Parker
Replacements: Phipps, Goodrick-Clarke, Edwards, Adamson, Gabbitass, Saysell, Trenier.
- Jones, Simpson-Hefft, Woodward (2)
- Yellow Cards:
- Luatua, Crane, Madigan, Morahan, Williams (2), Protheroe (2)
- Madigan (7)
- Yellow Cards: