Dave Attwood pens Bears extension
Posted: Friday, April 9th 2021
Friday, November 18th 2016
Friday, November 18th 2016
Aviva Premiership Rugby
|Homer (3)||Penalties||Searle (3)|
Venue: Recreation Ground
Ref: Ian Tempest
A spirited display saw Bristol Rugby come up agonisingly short in a nail-biting derby clash at The Recreation Ground on Friday night.
Nine points from the boot of Billy Searle had Bristol trailing by just seven points heading into the final ten minutes, after Jack Wilson’s first half try and 11 points from the boot of Tom Homer had given Bath a 16-9 lead. But Bristol rallied in the dying minutes and almost crept over, with Billy Searle hauled down inches short of the line.
It was Bristol who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the opening period, but they still found themselves trailing courtesy of a Tom Homer penalty.
The visitors though, wasted little time in replying, with Billy Searle on target from a tight angle after dogged work at the breakdown from Mitch Eadie.
By now, the driving rain had subsided and a scrappy first twenty minutes gave way to a full-throttle second twenty.
The only try of the evening came on 27 minutes, when Tom Ellis cut open the Bristol defence with an expertly picked line before feeding wing Jack Wilson, who cruised in under the posts. Homer added the simplest of conversions for a 10-3 lead, but Searle reduced the deficit with a second well-struck penalty for 10-6.
BILLY THE KID: Billy Searle takes on the Bath defence at The Recreation Ground (Photo: JMP UK).
That quickly became 13-6 as Homer fired over his second penalty of the night after Wilson had made good ground from a scrum.
But on the stroke of half time, an infringement at the breakdown gave Searle a third sight of goal – and the youngster obliged from all of 40 metres to send the sides down the tunnel at 13-9.
The second half was greeted by a searing break from Rhodri Williams, who twice shook off the attention of the Bath defence before being hauled down just inside the hosts’ half.
A clever kick from Darren Allinson then saw Bristol pinned in their own 22, before an infringement at the maul gave Homer a third penalty in kicking range. The full back was on target again to stretch Bath’s lead to seven points – and Bristol were dealt another blow on then hour mark, when Jason Woodward was sent to the sin-bin after Zach Mercer had been held up short of the try line.
ON THE CHARGE: Mitch Eadie breaks away during an action-packed first half (Photo: JMP UK).
A scuffle in the play that followed led to a five minute delay as referee Ian Tempest consulted his TMO – and the result saw Bristol awarded a penalty and Searle cleared the visitors’ lines.
The final ten minutes was played at break-neck speed and with seven points the deficit, Bristol desperately scrapped for the try that would draw them level.
A lineout inside Bath territory saw Hurrell power over the gain line - and the short carries that followed took the visitors to within inches. When the ball was moved left to right, Searle darted his way through a gap, but Wilson’s grasping tackle denied the fly half.
With time almost up, Bristol were awarded yet another penalty and Searle kicked to the corner – but the lineout was messy and when Hurrell knocked on in contact, Bath held on for the win to leave Bristol with a losing bonus-point to their name.
Jack Wilson’s last-ditch tackle to deny Billy Searle in the closing stages ensured Bristol would only leave with a losing bonus-point rather than a potential draw.
TOGETHER: The Bristol players huddle together before kick-off (Photo: JMP UK).
The flanker put in a typically dogged display at The Rec and carried well to put his side on the front foot. In defence, Eadie made a nuisance of himself throughout the evening.
Bristol Rugby: Jordan Williams (Wallace 69); Ryan Edwards, Jason Woodward, Will Hurrell, Jack Tovey; Billy Searle, Rhodri Williams (Cliff 55); Kyle Traynor (Bevington 55), Marc Jones (Hawkins 55), Jamal Ford-Robinson (Cortes 48), Ian Evans (Phillips 62), Mark Sorenson, Mitch Eadie, Olly Robinson (Fenton-Wells 65), Jordan Crane (c).
Replacements: Rob Hawkins, Ryan Bevington, Gaston Cortes, James Phillips, Nic Fenton-Wells, Will Cliff, Adrian Jarvis, Jack Wallace.
Bath Rugby: Tom Homer, Darren Atkins, Max Clark, Matt Banahan, Jack Wilson, Rhys Priestland (Hastings 21), Darren Allinson; Nathan Catt (Obano 70), Ross Batty (Dunn 69), Kane Palma-Newport (Lahiff 58), Elliott Stooke, Matt Garvey (co-capt.), Tom Ellis, Guy Mercer (Zach Mercer 58), Taulupe Faletau (Grant 58).
Replacements: Tom Dunn, Beno Obano, Max Lahiff, Paul Grant, Zach Mercer, Will Homer, Adam Hastings, Ben Tapuai.