- Gallagher Premiership
- Friday, March 1st 2019
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 28-24 Gloucester Rugby
Saturday, March 2nd 2019
Bristol Bears edged an exhilarating West Country derby to earn a first Gallagher Premiership victory over Gloucester in more than 11 years at a fully-charged Ashton Gate.
A penalty try 12 minutes from time and Ian Madigan’s late penalty sealed a crucial win for Pat Lam’s side, after two Gloucester tries in three minutes, from Tom Marshall and Ollie Thorley, had turned the game on its head midway through the second-half.
Tries from Dan Thomas and Andy Uren at the front-end of either half together with two Callum Sheedy penalties had seen Bristol take an 18-10 lead in front of nearly 17,000 supporters in BS3.
But a double-strike from the Cherry and Whites turned the tables on the hour mark to edge the visitors into a six-point lead.
Jason Woodward saw yellow for a deliberate knock-on before Bristol clawed their way back into the lead with a penalty try from a driving lineout.
It was a double blow for Gloucester with Ed Slater joining Woodward in the sin-bin, and their hopes were dented further nine minutes from time when Twelvetrees squandered a straightforward penalty.
At the other end, Madigan stepped up to land a long-range penalty as Bristol began to sense a first league win in three games.
And when a Cherry and White maul was halted five metres from the hosts’ line, the final whistle sent Ashton Gate into raptures.
Bristol made a blockbuster start to the game with the opening try inside three minutes, as Steven Luatua and Luke Daniels linked up to send Dan Thomas in for a superb team try.
Gloucester hit back with a try from Jason Woodward after slick handling from Danny Cipriani on the right-hand side, before Sheedy’s first penalty edged Bristol back in front.
And the fly half was at it again five minutes before the break to kick Bristol into an 11-7 lead at the interval.
That lead was narrowed early in the second half when Twelvetrees was on target after patient attacking play from Johan Ackermann’s side forced Bristol’s hand.
But the game was illuminated once again by a dazzling Bristol counter attack, as Luke Morahan shredded the Gloucester kick chase and Charles Piutau was on hand to send the onrushing Uren into the corner.
Madigan added a fine conversion, but Gloucester soon hit their stride with a devastating double strike to swing the game the way of the visitors.
First Marshall applied an acrobatic finish to Woodward’s offload in the corner, then Thorley, chasing an angled Cipriani kick, scooped up a loose ball that had evaded Daniels and Piutau to dive over in the corner. Advantage Gloucester.
This end-to-end, harum-scarum clash took another swing on 63 minutes when Woodward saw yellow for a deliberate knock-on with Daniels sensing a walk-in in the corner.
Gloucester repelled the initial Bristol drive, but they couldn’t stop a second, as the driving lineout rumbled forwards and Karl Dickson went under the posts before showing a yellow card to Ed Slater.
Then came Twelvetrees mishap, as the centre missed the opportunity to put Gloucester back in front from just outside the 22.
Madigan though, made no such mistake, firing over a stunning kick from all of 45 metres to give Bristol a four-point lead.
The drama wasn’t over, with Thacker penalised at the breakdown and Cipriani kicking to the corner to give Gloucester one final roll of the dice.
But up stepped a rampant home pack to dismantle the maul and seal an unforgettable Bristol win.
Teams and scorers:
Bristol Bears: Tries: D Thomas 3, Uren 47, penalty 67 Cons: Madigan 47 Pens: Sheedy 25, 35, Madigan 78.
Gloucester: Tries: Woodward 15, Marshall 56, Thorley 58 Cons: Twelvetrees 15, 56, 58 Pens: Twelvetrees 45 Yellow: Woodward 63, Slater 68.
Bristol Bears: C Piutau (Protheroe 75); Morahan, O’Conor, S Piutau (cc), Daniels; Sheedy (Madigan 40), Uren (Randall 65); Y Thomas (Woolmore 65), Thacker, Afoa, Batley (Smith 65), Vui, Luatua, D Thomas (Parry 69), Crane (cc) (Lam 56). Replacements: Parry, Woolmore, Thiede, Smith, Lam, Randall, Madigan, Protheroe.
Gloucester Rugby: Woodward; Marshall, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Thorley; Cipriani, Heinz (c) (Braley 11); Hohneck, Hanson (Marais 65), Balmain; Slater, Mostert; Ackermann, Kriel, Morgan. Replacements: Marais, Seville, Knight, Clarke, Polledri, Braley, Williams, Banahan.
After two tries in three minutes, from Tom Marshall and Ollie Thorley, had turned the game on its head and fired Gloucester into a six-point lead, Bristol hit back with a huge play.
A yellow card to Jason Woodward for a deliberate knock-on gave Bristol the chance to kick to the corner - and after the first lineout was stolen, the hosts went again with a powerful drive and referee Karl Dickson went under the posts for a seven-pointer that put Pat Lam's men back in front.
Man of the match: Dan Thomas
An absolutely outstanding performance the openside flanker against his former team.
Thomas rounded off a sensational first try to kick-start a memorable Bristol win, before putting in a magnificent shift in attack and defence to lead his side to victory.
The man of the match finished with eight carries, 23 tackles and a try before leaving the field with an injury late on.
Photo of the match:
Best of social media:
- Uren, Thomas
- Sheedy (2), Madigan
- Yellow Cards:
- Woodward, Marshall, Thorley
- Twelvetrees (3)
- Yellow Cards:
- Woodward, Slater