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Will Carpenter


Posted Thursday, November 1st 2018

Preview: Bristol Bears vs Gloucester

Bristol Bears welcome Gloucester to Ashton Gate on Friday night in round two of the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Pat Lam's men will be looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens, and welcome back Lewis Thiede, Aly Muldowney and Charles Piutau from long-term injuries.

Here's your big match preview ahead of Friday's clash:

Last time out:

Gloucester 35-13 Bristol Bears - Fri, 14th Sep 2018, Kingsholm

Gloucester scored 32 unanswered second-half points to condemn Bristol Bears to a 35-13 defeat at Kingsholm on Friday night.

Pat Lam’s side led 13-3 at the interval after Luke Morahan’s 18th-minute try and eight points from the boot of Ian Madigan capped a breath-taking opening 40 minutes.

But the second half was all Gloucester, as the Cherry and Whites scored five tries, including a seven-minute brace from Charlie Sharples while George Smith was in the sin-bin, following Gerbrandt Grobler’s 41st-minute score.

Ed Slater powered his way over on the hour mark before Matt Banahan rounded off proceedings with a powerful finish in the corner to cap a sensational comeback from Johan Ackermann’s side.


Piers O'Conor

O'Conor has made a hugely impressive start to the season, taking over the number 15 shirt following injuries to Daniels and Piutau.

But the former Ealing man lines up in the midfield on Friday - as he did against Zebre - going head-to-head with the experienced Henry Trinder. 

Henry Trinder

The creative centre is set for his 150th appearance for Gloucester at Ashton Gate on Friday.

Trinder was selected to play for England against the Barbarians at Twickenham in May, and Bristol will have to be on high alert to keep him quiet. 

Dan Thomas

After a long injury lay-off, Thomas has impressed on his return to the first team fold at Bristol Bears.

The lively and dynamic openside, who was shortlisted for GKIPA Championship player of the season in 2017/18, made his first Gallagher Premiership appearance against Worcester Warriors last month.

Aaron Hinkley

19-year-old flanker Hinkley is one of the latest talents to roll off the Gloucester Academy production line.
A Premiership Shield regular, he made his first team debut in the Anglo-Welsh Cup away at Newcastle, represented England U20s in Six Nations and also earned selection for the Junior World Championships in France.

Word from the camps:

John Muldoon

“It will be exciting to see both Charles and Aly on the pitch – they’re summer signings who picked up injuries early on.

“They were frustrated by their injuries, but they’ve been a great influence on the squad. They are different age profiles but both very mature and are leaders in the squad, so it will be great to have them both back.”

Richard Whiffin

“I was pleased for them (last week), they prepped really well and put in a complete performance in front of a very good crowd

“For us, it’s an opportunity for the younger guys and the guys coming back in after injury to put their hands up for selection in the Premiership weeks that follow.”

Form guide:

The Cherry and Whites have had Bristol’s number over the last decade, winning the last five times the two sides have met – including a 35-13 triumph earlier this season.

Bristol’s last win against their rivals game in 2008 when Jason Strange kicked 19 points to help his side to a 29-26 win as they denied Gloucester a 10th league victory of the campaign.

James Simpson-Daniel, Jack Adams and Anthony Allen all touched down for Gloucester as they established a 17-9 lead, but Bristol came from behind to prevail with a Strange drop-goal.

One thing that can always be guaranteed from their meetings is plenty of tries, with Gloucester claiming a try bonus-point in their last five games against Bristol.

Bristol Bears: WLL
Gloucester: WLW

Weather forecast

Met Office says: 

A cold and frosty start. Then a dry and sunny day, although skies will tend to cloud over later in the afternoon. Maximum temperature 13 °C.

How to buy tickets:

Purchase tickets for Friday's game online now by clicking here, or via supporter services on 0117 963 0600.