- Gallagher Premiership
- Friday, March 12th 2021
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 37-20 Wasps Rugby
Friday, March 12th 2021
Chris Vui’s 80th-minute try earned all five points for the Bears, as Pat Lam’s men, inspired by the outstanding Charles Piutau, saw off Wasps for the first time in 15 years.
Vui powered over from close range for the bonus-point try to put the icing on an impressive display from the home side, who fought back from 10-0 down inside the opening quarter to seal a 10th Gallagher Premiership win of the season.
Piutau was at his majestic best throughout and got the ball rolling with a devastating step and break for O’Conor to touch down, as the Bears recovered from Sione Vailanu’s opener.
Three Tiff Eden penalties and two from Jimmy Gopperth made it a three-point game at the break, before Joe Joyce cashed in a rebound off the upright to score his first try of the season.
Piutau was pulling all the strings for the Bears and his sensational floated pass to Niyi Adeolokun made a mockery of the saturated conditions for try number three.
Eden converted from out wide, while at the other end, Josh Bassett went over to give Wasps a sniff of a losing bonus-point.
But when Gopperth’s hopeful kick gifted the Bears a five-metre lineout, Vui bundled over for his side’s fourth, with Eden’s conversion completing a personal 17-point haul.
The Bears were hit by a Wasps blitz from the first whistle, as Gopperth’s first penalty and an opportunist try from Sione Vailanu fired the visitors into a 10-point lead inside the opening quarter.
Eden struck the post with his first effort at goal but made no mistake with his second after Piutau had ghosted through the Wasps midfield and fed O’Conor to claw the Bears back into the contest.
The Bears number 10 levelled the scores shortly after, before landing two more penalties to make it 16-10. Gopperth’s second three-pointer made it a three-point game at the interval.
The Wasps centre saw his long-range effort drift wide early in the second half, before Eden’s miss on 57 minutes worked in the Bears’ favour. The fly half’s penalty rebounded off the upright into the path of Adeolokun and Joyce pounced to extend the hosts’ advantage.
Eden hit the post again minutes later, before his slick handling freed up Piutau and the All Black’s loopy pass located a flying Adeolokun for the Bristol’s third of the night.
Bassett grabbed a consolation for Wasps courtesy of Vellacott’s quickly-taken penalty, but when Gopperth’s cross-kick went astray inside the Wasps 22, the Bears capitalised to snatch all five points, with Vui powering over with the final act of the night.
Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Adeolokun, Purdy, O'Conor, Naulago (Fricker 68); Eden, Uren; Thomas (Woolmore 64), Byrne (Capon 49), Lahiff (Afoa 40), Attwood (Heenan 64), Joyce, Luatua (capt), Thomas, Hughes (Vui 49).
Replacements: Capon, Woolmore, Afoa, Vui, Heenan, Kessell, Powell, Fricker.
Wasps: Miller; Kibirige, Fekitoa, Gopperth, Bassett; Umaga, Porter; West, Oghre, Toomaga-Allen, Rowlands, Gaskell, Shields (capt), Young, Vailanu.
Replacements: Taylor, Harris, Owlett, Douglas, T Willis, Vellacott, Le Bourgeois, Minozzi.
Bristol Bears: Tries: O’Conor 20, Joyce 56, Adeolokun 68, Vui 80. Cons: Eden 20, 56, 68, 80. Pens: Eden 26, 35, 37
Wasps: Tries: Vailanu 16, Bassett 78. Cons: Gopperth 16, 78. Pens: Gopperth 7, 40
The bonus point try!
Chris Vui grabbed the fourth Bears try with the final play of the night, taking full advantage of a five-metre lineout following Gopperth's stray kick, to cap an impressive display from Pat Lam's men.
Pat Lam reaction
🗣️ "Everyone knows where we are as far as our depth goes, that was tremendous."— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) March 12, 2021
Pat Lam delighted with squad effort 👇 pic.twitter.com/xPzeUAYnd8
Man of the match: Charles Piutau
On another planet.
Charles Piutau delivered on out-of-this-world display for the Bears, assisting two of the four tries, as they beat Wasps in the Gallagher Premiership for the first time since 2006.
Social media reaction
Charles Piutau 🔥🚀— ugo monye (@ugomonye) March 12, 2021
- Adeolokun, O'Conor, Joyce, Vui
- Eden (4)
- Eden (3)
- Yellow Cards:
- Bassett, Vailanu
- Gopperth (2)
- Gopperth (2)
- Yellow Cards: