- Gallagher Premiership
- Friday, January 1st 2021
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 29-17 Newcastle Falcons
Friday, January 1st 2021
Bristol Bears held off a gutsy challenge from Newcastle Falcons to start the New Year with a bonus-point victory at Ashton Gate.
Siva Naulago scored his first Bears try inside the opening minute and Charles Piutau touched down on his return from injury, after George Wacokecoke had pulled one back for the Falcons.
Dave Attwood was sent to the sin bin as the visitors’ maul turned the screw, and after Jamie Blamire had been held up by George Kloska, Mark Wilson powered over to close the gap at half time.
Nathan Hughes scored Bears’ third from an intricate lineout move, while at the other end, some heroic defensive work from Piers O’Conor denied Matías Orlando.
The Falcons refused to lie down and hit back through Philip van der Walt, with Flood’s conversion making it a four-point game.
But the Bears secured the bonus-point five minutes later, with man of the match Kloska powering over from a well-oiled driving lineout for a try on his first Gallagher Premiership start.
Pat Lam’s men were denied a sensational fifth – Radradra, Randall, Lloyd and O’Conor exchanging offloads to send Hughes over for a 70-metre effort - after a forward pass in the build-up.
But Sheedy’s penalty sealed the deal late on, as the Bears made it four successive wins in the Gallagher Premiership.
It took the Bears just 43 seconds to open the scoring, with Sheedy intercepting Arscott’s pass and racing clear, before handing on to Naulago to apply the finishing touches.
Wacokecoke wriggled out of two tackles to stretch over for Falcons’ opener on 13 minutes, only for Piutau, on his return from injury, to expertly gather the bouncing ball with one hand and dive over, with Sheedy adding the extras.
Dean Richards’ side were enjoying some dominance at maul time and after persistent infringements from the Bears, Dave Attwood saw yellow and the Falcons took full advantage through skipper Wilson.
Lightning strike! ⚡️— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 1, 2021
It took just 4️⃣3️⃣ seconds for the Bristol Bears to score the first try of the afternoon! 🔥😳 pic.twitter.com/5W8wGOX0no
Attwood returned from the bin and shortly after, Hughes was unleashed on the visitors’ midfield following a clever line-out move to extend the lead early in the second half. Orlando was denied a debut try by O’Conor’s heroics, before van der Walt bagged Falcons’ third to keep his side within striking distance.
But Academy hooker Kloska marked his maiden Bears start, and a man of the match performance, with a driving lineout try to seal a hard-earned bonus point – and despite Hughes’ try of the season contender being ruled out, Sheedy’s penalty sealed a fourth league win from five games this season.
Bristol Bears: C Piutau (Morahan 53); Naulago, Radradra, O'Conor, Lloyd; Sheedy, Uren (Randall 56); McCabe, Kloska, Armstrong (Sinckler 49), Attwood, Joyce, Luatua (c), Heenan (Harding 65), Hughes.
Replacements: Thompson, Turner, Sinckler, Hawkins, Harding, Randall, Leiua, Morahan.
Newcastle Falcons: Arscott; Radwan, Wacokecoke, Orlando, Stevenson; Flood, Stuart; Davison, Blamire, Mulipola, Peterson, Fuser, Robinson, Wilson (c), van der Walt.
Replacements: Maddison, Cooper, Tampin, Collett, Basham, Schreuder, Connon, Owen.
Bristol Bears: Tries: Naulago 1, C Piutau 18, Hughes 44, Kloska 59. Cons: Sheedy 1, 18, 44. Pens: Sheedy 79. Yellow: Attwood 31
Newcastle Falcons: Tries: Wacokecoke 12, Wilson 40, van der Walt 54. Cons: Flood 54
After Dave Attwood had returned from the sin-bin, the Bears raced out the blocks in the second half, with Nathan Hughes powering over for a crucial score from a beautifully-executed lineout play.
It gave the Bears some breathing space against a gritty Falcons side, who refused to go away in a tightly-contested Gallagher Premiership match.
Pat Lam reaction
Man of the match: George Kloska
First Gallagher Premiership start, first try and a man of the match performance.
George Kloska stepped up to the plate at Ashton Gate, as the Bears battled to a bonus-point victory in BS3.
Social media reaction
UP THE KLOSK! 😍 pic.twitter.com/RkaA5oIia4— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) January 1, 2021
Charles Piutau. Sake.— Charlie Morgan (@CharlieFelix) January 1, 2021
- Piutau, Naulago, Kloska, Hughes
- Sheedy (3)
- Yellow Cards:
- Wacokecoke, Wilson, Van Der Walt
- Yellow Cards: