- Gallagher Premiership
- Sunday, February 23rd 2020
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 13-10 Worcester Warriors
Sunday, February 23rd 2020
Bristol Bears made it three Gallagher Premiership wins in a row for the first time since April 2007 with a hard-fought victory over Worcester Warriors at Ashton Gate on Sunday.
Pat Lam’s men enjoyed an incredible 79% possession during the first half, but only had a Callum Sheedy penalty and Luke Morahan’s beautifully worked 36th-minute try to show for their dominance.
Worcester hit back early in the second period through Nick David’s breakaway score, with Weir’s conversion and Scott van Breda’s long-range penalty levelling the scores on the hour mark.
Cornell du Preez and Andrew Kitchener saw yellow in succession, leaving Bristol to face 14 men for 20 minutes of the second half.
And Sheedy took full advantage of the visitors’ indiscipline with his second three-pointer of the afternoon, to edge Bristol to a sixth win of the season and fire them into third place.
Bristol started at a rate of knots and came close to a second minute try when Sam Bedlow was held up over the whitewash, after a mistake from Weir straight from the kick-off gave the hosts the perfect platform.
Three penalties in Bristol’s favour followed, but when a five-metre lineout evaded the grasp of Vui, Worcester were able to clear their lines.
At the other end, it was the visitors who could and should have crossed for the game’s opening try when Shillcock broke clear down the left, but his offload failed to find the hands of the supporting Hill.
Sheedy finally got the scoreboard rolling with a long-range penalty on 21 minutes, and after a mountain of pressure on the Worcester line, the first try eventually arrived four minutes before the interval.
A 10th penalty of the half gave Randall the opportunity to catch the Warriors off guard, and the scrum half’s sniping break set Piutau free, who in turn located Morahan to cruise in under the posts. Sheedy converted for a 10-0 half-time lead.
Having spent the majority of the first half on the back foot, Worcester shifted up a gear after the break, with a sweeping counter attack catching the hosts napping, leaving van Breda to send David over on 43 minutes.
Duncan Weir added the extras from out wide to make it a three-point game, before Bristol were offered an opening on 58 minutes when du Preez was sin binned for a high tackle on the slippery Sheedy – the 12th penalty given away by his side.
But despite the numerical advantage, it was Worcester who scored the next points through van Breda, whose long-range penalty levelled the scores with 20 minutes left to play.
The South African number eight returned to the action but was quickly replaced on the naughty step by Andrew Kitchener, only on the field for a matter of minutes, whose cynical attempt to slow the ball down after a sensational break from Piutau was punished by referee JP Doyle.
Sheedy stepped up to land the subsequent penalty and edge Bristol back into the lead.
Teams and scorers
Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Morahan, O'Conor, Bedlow (Lloyd 69), Purdy (Leiua 40); Sheedy (cc), Randall (Uren 56); Woolmore (Y Thomas 64), Capon (Malton 49), Thiede (Afoa 49), Attwood (Hamilton 49), Joyce, Vui (cc), Heenan (D Thomas 53), Hughes.
Replacements: Malton, Y Thomas, Afoa, Hamilton, D Thomas, Uren, Lloyd, Leiua.
Worcester Warriors: Shillcock; Humphreys, Lawrence, Beck, David; Weir, Hougaard; Waller, Moulds (capt), Schonert, Bresler, Kitchener, Hill, Mama, Du Preez
Replacements: Annett, Owen, Palframan, Kitchener, Lewis, Heaney, Lance, van Breda
Bristol Bears: Tries: Morahan 36. Cons: Sheedy 36. Pens: Sheedy 21, 69
Worcester Warriors: Tries: David 43. Cons: Weir 43. Pens: van Breda 66. Yellow: du Preez 58, A Kitchener 68
Bristol Bears enjoyed a whopping 79% possession during the first half, but as of the 35th minute, only had Sheedy's penalty to show for their significant dominance.
That all changed four minutes before the break, as Randall sniped from a tap penalty and fed Piutau, whose reverse pass sent Morahan in under the posts for a deserved try.
Worcester fought back after the break, but it was the Australian's try that proved decisive at Ashton Gate.
Pat Lam reaction
Man of the match: Charles Piutau
Another blockbuster display from the Gallagher Premiership's most potent attacking threat.
Charles Piutau twice sparked Bristol into life in a game of small margins and few chances. The full back latched on to Randall's pass after a quickly taken penalty before finding Morahan with the deftest of touches for the opening try.
After the break, it was more of the same from Piutau, swerving through the Worcester defence deep inside his own half and charging clear, eventually leading to a yellow card for Andrew Kitchener and the match winning penalty from Callum Sheedy.
Photo of the match
Social media highlights
Not pretty ... but another big 4 points! The mighty @BristolBears faithful getting us over the line yet again 🙌🏼🐻🐻— Callum Sheedy (@Sheedy95) February 23, 2020
@BristolBears are a lovely team to watch...— Sam Roberts (@samrobertsrugby) February 23, 2020
- Sheedy (2)
- Yellow Cards:
- Van Breda
- Yellow Cards:
- Du Preez, Kitchener