- Gallagher Premiership
- Friday, October 1st 2021
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 25-20 Bath Rugby
Saturday, October 2nd 2021
A dogged and determined second half performance lifted Bristol Bears to a first Gallagher Premiership win of the season - and a fifth successive victory over their West Country rivals - on a breathless night at Ashton Gate.
Pat Lam’s men found themselves behind at the break, despite Steven Luatua’s sensational solo score on 32 minutes, dummying and slaloming inside the drifting Bath defence and applying a flying finish in front of the Atyeo Stand.
Bath though, had enjoyed the lion's share of possession and territory during a helter-skelter opening period and capitalised with tries from Will Muir and Semesa Rokodoguni, together with a penalty from the boot of Orlando Bailey, giving the visitors a seven-point lead at the interval.
A second Callum Sheedy penalty reduced the deficit early in the second half, before Muir’s second, beautifully assisted by Max Ojomah and Bailey, opened up a commanding nine-point lead and had Bath on course for a famous win on the road.
But the Bears hit back with a vengeance, rumbling over the whitewash from a driving lineout and giving referee Ian Tempest no choice but to award a penalty try and send Tom Ellis to the sin bin.
Ten minutes later, it was more of the same. Jake Kerr's neat interchange with Andy Uren on the fringes saw his surge towards the line cut down inches short, and although his roll and reach enabled a smooth touchdown, the try disallowed for a double movement and Tom Dunn became the second Bath player to be sent to the sin bin. But the replacement Bears hooker wasn't top be denied a second time - another powerful surge from the pack and it was Kerr who emerged through the melee to edge the Bears in front, with Sheedy landing a crucial conversion as we entered the closing stages.
With time ticking away, one final lineout surge gave Bath a platform to snatch victory, but when the five-metre maul was expertly repelled by the Bears pack, Lam's men were off the mark in the Gallagher Premiership.
Bristol: Piutau; Lloyd, O'Conor, Bedlow (Leiua 77), Purdy; Sheedy, Randall (Uren 60); Thomas (Woolmore 71), Capon (Kerr 40), Sinckler (Lahiff 70), Holmes, Joyce (D Thomas 55), Vui, Heenan, Luatua (c). Replacements: Kerr, Woolmore, Lahiff, Harding, Thomas, Uren, Frisch, Leiua.
Bath: De Glanville; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Ojomoh, Muir; Bailey, Fox; Obano, Du Toit, Stuart, McNally, Ewels (c), Ellis, Underhill, Bayliss. Replacements: Dunn, Boyce, Rae, Williams, Reid, Green, Clark, Watson.
Pat Lam reaction
Steven Luatua reaction
Social media highlights
The support at Ashton Gate was amazing tonight, thank you for helping get us across the line today #WeGoAgain 🦢🦢🦢— Steven Luatua (@StevenLuatua) October 2, 2021
☝️the 🐻s!— Jon Lansdown (@JonLansdown) October 1, 2021
Great effort from the boys and the crowd 👌 https://t.co/Mt5IxFYBsR
Ashton Gate LOVED that 💥— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) October 1, 2021
Listen to the noise as Steven Luatua gets Bristol up-and-running at home! pic.twitter.com/T3et1mbbZq
- Luatua, Kerr
- Sheedy (2)
- Yellow Cards:
- Rokoduguni, Muir (2)
- Yellow Cards:
- Ellis, Dunn