- Gallagher Premiership
- Friday, November 1st 2019
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 16-10 Sale Sharks
Friday, November 1st 2019
Ioan Lloyd’s 77th-minute try and 11 points from the boot of Callum Sheedy steered Bristol Bears to a hard-fought victory over Sale Sharks at sodden Ashton Gate on Friday night.
The Academy youngster latched on to Harry Randall’s kick ahead to dive in the corner late on, as Pat Lam’s men dug deep to overcome Chris Vui’s sin binning and a second-half Sale onslaught to earn a second home win of the season in the Gallagher Premiership.
Three Sheedy penalties had seen the Bears lead 9-0 at the interval in torrential conditions in BS3, before replacement AJ Macginty put Sale on the scoreboard on the hour mark.
Vui saw yellow for pulling down a rampant Sale maul, as the visitors went in search of the game’s opening try. But the Bristol defence held firm and at the other end, Randall’s kick bounced favourably for Lloyd, and the 18-year-old finished with confidence for his second try in three games this season.
There was still time for Sale to spark a nervy finish, as Cameron Neild took advantage of a Bristol error inside the 22 to touch down, with Macginty’s conversion making it a six-point game.
But the home side held on for a fourth home win of the season in all competitions, and their first over Sale since New Year’s Day 2017.
Rob Du Preez and Callum Sheedy traded misses from the tee in an opening quarter dominated by heavy rain and kicking, before the Bristol number ten found the target after predatory work from John Afoa at the breakdown.
Sheedy landed his second and then his third penalty in quick succession, as Bristol built a nine-point lead to take into the half-time break.
The second period continued in similar vein, but when Sale turned down a kickable penalty just outside the 22, pressure from Vui at the resulting lineout allowed Uren the opportunity to clear.
A galloping break from the base of the scrum from Josh Beaumont set Sale on their way again, before supporting Embrose Papier was bundled into touch by an impressive cover tackle from Luke Morahan.
Sale continued to knock at the door and were rewarded with a Macginty penalty on the hour mark, reducing the deficit to six points.
Vui’s yellow card ten minutes from time tipped the scales in favour of the Sharks, as Steve Diamond’s men pressed for the game’s decisive try.
But Bristol held firm and instead, snatched the game’s first try for themselves, as replacement Lloyd, on for the injured Luke Daniels, reacted quickest to the bouncing ball to fly over in the right-hand corner.
Sheedy’s conversion looked to have put the game out of Sale’s reach at 16-3, but a lapse from the hosts gifted Cameron Neild the simplest of scores to reignite a game that had appeared all but over.
It mattered not though, as a valiant Bristol ground out an important home win in front of nearly 15,000 supporters at Ashton Gate.
Teams and scorers:
Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Morahan, O’Conor, S Piutau (Hurrell 66), Daniels (Lloyd 67); Sheedy, Uren (Randall 62); Woolmore (Y Thomas 65), Malton (Thacker 50), Afoa, Attwood (Holmes 56), Vui, Luatua (c), Heenan, Hughes (Thomas 57).
Replacements: Thacker, Y Thomas, Lahiff, Holmes, D Thomas, Randall, Lloyd, Hurrell.
Sale Sharks: Hammersley, McGuigan, Redpath, Van Rensburg, Yarde, R Du Preez, Cliff; Harrison, Webber, Cooper-Wooley, Beaumont, Evans, JL Du Preez, Ross (c), D Du Preez.
Replacements: Van Der Merwe, Morozov, Oosthuizen, Phillips, Neild, Papier, Macginty, L James.
Bristol Bears: Tries: Lloyd 77. Cons: Sheedy 77. Pens: Sheedy 20, 28, 32. Yellow: Vui 69
Sale Sharks: Tries: Neild 79. Cons: Macginty 79. Pens: Macginty 61
Ioan Lloyd's try was the knockout blow for Bristol, but the ten-minute defensive effort while Chris Vui was in the sin bin was the key period for the hosts.
A Sale onslaught against a depleted Bristol side looked to be putting the visitors in prime position to snatch victory, but the Bears held firm before Lloyd's try sealed the deal three minutes from time.
🎥| "They're a tough team and we have to play a certain way - we stayed patient and had a plan."— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) November 1, 2019
Lam praises hard-fought victory 👇 pic.twitter.com/kWA9rtoX9c
Man of the match: Callum Sheedy
This was an impressive display of game management from the ever improving Callum Sheedy.
The fly half kicked beautifully out of hand and from the tee, notching three penalties and a touchline conversion for an 11-point haul, as Bristol battled the conditions to beat a strong Sale side at Ashton Gate.
Sheedy's boot continuously pinned Sale in their own 22, setting the home side on their way to another home win.
Photo of the match
Social media highlights
Delighted to see @BristolBears win again tonight.— RugbyLAD (@RugbyLAD7) November 1, 2019
You can’t help but love what’s going on at the club at the moment.
Can’t resist rooting for them.
Pat Lam is one of the most underrated coaches in the world.
- Sheedy (3)
- Yellow Cards:
- Yellow Cards: