- Gallagher Premiership
- Saturday, November 28th 2020
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 30-13 Worcester Warriors
Saturday, November 28th 2020
Bristol Bears got their season up and running with a hard-fought bonus-point victory over Worcester Warriors at Ashton Gate.
Ioan Lloyd returned from international duty to inspire his side a gritty win on home soil, kicking eight points and providing a sensational assist for Piers O’Conor’s opening score.
Centre O'Conor touched down midway through the first half after two Lloyd penalties had opened the scoring, before tries from Tom Howe and Marco Mama edged the Warriors in front early in the second half.
Bryan Byrne went over from a driving lineout to restore the Bears lead, while at the other end, Howe saw a second try chalked off for a knock-on in the build-up to grant the hosts a lifeline.
Siale Piutau grabbed his second in as many weeks courtesy of another lineout drive while Andrew Kitchener was in the sin bin, before the bonus-point arrived in similar fashion.
Another powerful surge at the set-piece was halted illegally, and referee Ian Tempest went under the posts for a penalty try and issued a yellow card to Conor Carey, as Pat Lam’s men took all five points from the first home outing of the season.
After returning from the Welsh camp following a first international cap against Georgia, it was fitting that Ioan Lloyd would open the scoring at Ashton Gate, landing two penalties inside the first 10 minutes.
The full-back then showcased his defensive prowess with a remarkable try-saving tackle on Nick David in the left-hand corner, before Billy Searle pegged the Bears back with the simplest of penalties.
Lloyd was soon back in the action again, scooping up the loose ball and leaving Francois Venter for dead before sending O’Conor over with the silkiest of assists.
But back came Worcester through Howe, applying the finishing touches to Searle’s scything run through the middle of the Bears defence. Find his way to the line
The Worcester fly half then squandered the chance to level it up at the break as his penalty drifted wide, but when Mama flew over early in the second period, Worcester were ahead for the first time in the game.
The Bears hit back, and after Nathan Hughes had been held up over the whitewash, Byrne edged the hosts back in front with 51 minutes played.
Worcester thought they had grabbed a third when Howe latched on to a loose ball to canter over from 70 metres, but after consulting the TMO referee Tempest spotted a knock-on in the tackle from Oli Morris and chalked the score off.
This seemed to energise the Bears, who saw their opponents reduced to 14 men when Kitchener pulled down another lineout drive – and from the resulting penalty, Piutau found his way to the line, with Lloyd’s conversion opening up a 10-point lead.
The Bears had now shaken off the shackles and sealed a grittiest of bonus-point wins late on courtesy of a penalty try, as Carey replaced Kitchener on the naughty step.
Worcester pressed hard for a consolation, but Lam’s men held to secure their first league win of the new season.
Teams and scorers
Bristol Bears: Lloyd; Adeolokun (Leiua 73), O'Conor, S Piutau (c), Purdy; Bedlow (Eden 77), Randall (Uren 74); Y Thomas (Woolmore 46), Byrne (Capon 74), Afoa (Lahiff 69), Holmes (Hawkins 77), Joyce, Heenan, D Thomas, Hughes (Eadie 67). Replacements: Capon, Woolmore, Lahiff, Hawkins, Eadie, Uren, Eden, Leiua.
Worcester XV: Nanai; Howe, Morris, Venter, David; Searle, Hougaard; Black, Annett, Palframan, Bresler, Kitchener, Hill (c), Kvesic, Mama. Replacements: Cutting, Waller, Carey, Merrick, Batley, Simpson, Shillcock, Beck.
Tries: O’Conor 26, Byrne 51, S Piutau 69, Penalty try 77. Cons: Lloyd 69. Pens: Lloyd 4, 9
Worcester Warriors: Tries: Howe 34, Mama 46. Pens: Searle 24. Yellow: Kitchener 67, Carey 77
Just minutes after Tom Howe's disallowed try and immediately after Graham Kitchener had been sent to the sin bin, Siale Piutau delivered the killer blow from a dominant Bears maul.
The try gave the hosts a 10-point lead set them on the way to a hard-fought bonus-point win.
Pat Lam reaction
Man of the match: Ioan Lloyd
A sensational display for one of rugby's brightest young talents.
Lloyd kicked eight points, made a mind-blowing try-saving tackle on Nick David and provided a dazzling assist for Piers O'Conor in a superb all-round performance from the youngster.
Social media reaction
Woohoo! https://t.co/dG7vTFOlzM— Ravenscroft (@RavenscroftGB) November 28, 2020
Ioan Lloyd continuing his exciting development. Also, shout out to Bryan Byrne, thought he was class again today. https://t.co/owY4wKL6Te— Alfred Reynolds (@AlfredReynolds5) November 28, 2020
Anything better than grinding out a W at our house? 🏠pic.twitter.com/VfMtP3soZh— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) November 28, 2020
- O'Conor, Piutau, Byrne
- Lloyd (2)
- Yellow Cards:
- Howe, Mama
- Yellow Cards:
- Kitchener, Carey