- The Championship
- Saturday, November 25th 2017
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Rugby 50-21 Nottingham
Saturday, November 25th 2017
Bristol Rugby ran in eight tries to make it a perfect ten in the Greene King IPA Championship with a 50-21 demolition of Nottingham at Ashton Gate on Saturday.
A blistering first half performance saw Pat Lam’s side wrap up the bonus point inside 36 minutes, despite Nicky Thomas’ 27th-minute yellow card, as Dan Thomas’ brace – either side of Jordan Williams’ eighth-minute score – was followed by a quick-fire double from hooker, Jason Harris-Wright.
Rhodri Williams crossed for the first of his brace early in the second half, before Nottingham hit back with two scores in five minutes courtesy of Ben Brownlie and Darryl Veenendaal, after Jordan Williams had been sent to the sin-bin.
But Williams’ second and a late score for Joe Batley sealed a tenth successive league win for Bristol, with Jordan Coghlan adding a late third for Ian Costello’s visitors.
Jack Cosgrove made his first start of the season, as Pat Lam made four changes to the side that had beaten Yorkshire Carnegie last Friday. Will Hurrell and Rhodri Williams returned to the backline, while Jason Harris-Wright started in the front row.
In front of nearly 7,000 supporters at Ashton Gate, Bristol began at break-neck speed and took the lead when Dan Thomas picked a line against the grain to crash over for the game’s opening score.
Jordan Williams’ step and outside arc left Billy Robinson for dead in the wide channel, as the full-back coasted in from 30 metres for Bristol’s second, before Steven Luatua’s deft offload presented Thomas with the simplest of run ins for his second and Bristol’s third after just 14 minutes.
Replacement Nicky Thomas was sent to the sin bin for pulling down a dangerous Nottingham maul on 27 minutes, but the visitors failed to capatalise on their numerical advantage and after being restored to a full allocation, Jason Harris-Wright crashed over to secure the bonus point.
There was still time for a fifth before the interval, as Harris-Wright wrestled through the melee to touch down on the stroke of half time.
Will Hurrell’s strong carry in midfield saw Jordan Williams link up with namesake, Rhodri, for Bristol’s sixth two minutes after the break, before the Welsh full back was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle, in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity.
This time, the visitors did take advantage, crossing twice in quick succession through Ben Brownlie and Darryl Veenendell – the latter a fine effort from all of 35 metres – to gain a brief lifeline.
But Rhodri Williams’ second, courtesy of Callum Sheedy’s inside pass, and Joe Batley’s first try for the club, took Bristol past the 50-point mark for the third time this season, before Coghlan’s late score rounded off a high-scoring afternoon at Ashton Gate.
Bristol ran in five tries during a blistering first half performance, but it was a ten-minute spell of sturdy defence that set the hosts up for this bonus-point win. Nottingham started well at Ashton Gate, applying pressure to the Bristol line in the opening quarter, but Pat Lam's side escaped unscathed before running five first-half tries.
Man of the match: Tusi Pisi
Another sublime display from the Samoan, whose defensive prowess ensured Bristol remained on the front foot.
Pisi's tackling and reading of the Nottingham attack saw him make numerous dominant hits in the midfield, while his trademark class with ball in hand helped the hosts to five first-half tries.
The 35-year-old has been in fine form this season and continued that this afternoon with another eye-catching display.
The centre was replaced on the hour mark to a brilliant reception from the 6,789 supporters in attendance, having put in a standout performance in the blue and white hoops.
Photo of the match:
Social post of the day:
Bristol Rugby: Jordan Williams; Luke Morahan (Jack Wallace 55), Will Hurrell, Tusi Pisi (Callum Sheedy 49), Tom Varndell; Ian Madigan (Andy Uren 61), Rhodri Williams; Jack Cosgrove, Jason Harris-Wright (Ben Gompels 55), Gaston Cortes (Nicky Thomas 16), Joe Joyce, Sam Jeffries, Steven Luatua (c) (Joe Batley 49), Dan Thomas, Jordan Crane.
Replacements: Ben Gompels, Soane Tonga’uiha, Nicky Thomas, Joe Batley, Andy Uren, Callum Sheedy, Jack Wallace.
Nottingham: Sean Scanlon, Billy Robinson, Oli Evans (Jordan Coghlan 21), Gearoid Lyons (Vili Hakalo 5), David Williams, Tiff Eden, Murray McConnell (Darryl Veenendaal 61); James Penman (Aniseke Sio 49), Jimmy Stevens, Rory Burke (Will Stuart 50), Tom Holmes, Danny Qualter, Shane Buckley, Matt Everard (c) (Brownlie 61), Josh Poullet.
Replacements: Ben Brownlie, Aniseko Sio, Will Stuart, Ben Morris, Jordan Coghlan, Darryl Veenendaal, Vili Hakalo.
- Harris-Wright (2), Thomas (2), Williams (2), Williams, Batley
- Madigan (4), Sheedy
- Yellow Cards:
- Williams, Thomas
- Brownlie, Coghlan, Veenendaal
- Eden (3)
- Yellow Cards: