- Gallagher Premiership
- Wednesday, September 30th 2020
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 40-3 Leicester Tigers
Wednesday, September 30th 2020
Bristol Bears will go into the final round of the Gallagher Premiership season with their eyes firmly set on a place in the play offs, after a six-try victory over Leicester Tigers set up a fascinating finale on Sunday.
Pat Lam’s men overpowered their visitors at a rain-soaked Ashton Gate courtesy of tries from Ioan Lloyd, Nathan Hughes, Bryan Byrne, Dan Thomas, Harry Thacker and a penalty try, while Callum Sheedy landed five conversions to set up a round 22 showdown at London Irish.
Tigers were hindered by yellow cards in either half, to Ben White and Harry Simmons, but the Bears were in control throughout to ease to a 13th league win of the season ahead of a round 22 trip to The Stoop to face London Irish.
In the driving West Country rain, it took the Bears until the 17th minute to find their feet, and the opening score – Lloyd selling an elaborate dummy on his way to the line after a neat combination between Bedlow and Sheedy.
Zach Henry’s penalty got Tigers on the board, before the Bears’ scrum provided the perfect platform for Hughes to barge over after showing good control at the base.
Adeolokun’s burst down the right looked to have sent O’Conor in for number three, only for a stray hand from Ben White to stop the attack in its tracks. The Tigers captain was yellow carded and from the resulting lineout drive, Byrne grabbed his first try in Bristol colours to send the home side into the break with a commanding lead.
The bonus point was secured early in the second period when Dan Thomas rumbled over from another well-worked driving lineout, and after Adeolokun saw his superb solo effort chalked off for a knock on in the build-up, replacement Thacker collected Uren’s inside pass for try number five.
An 80th-minute penalty try sealed the deal for the Bears, as Radradra’s killer pass to Adeolokun was slapped down by Harry Simmons, who was shown a yellow card for his sins.
It’s a bonus-point victory that ensures Lam’s men go into the final round of the Gallagher Premiership still in the hunt for a play-off spot.
Teams and scorers
Bristol Bears: Tries: Lloyd 17, Hughes 28, Byrne 35, D Thomas 45, Thacker 62, Penalty 80. Cons: Sheedy 17, 28, 35, 45,
Leicester Tigers: Pens: Henry 24. Yellow: White 35, Simmons 80
The Bears went into this game needing nothing less than a bonus-point victory - and Dan Thomas' try early in the second half ensured the home side would leave with the full allocation.
The flanker rounded off another powerful surge at the lineout to score Bristol's fourth on a wet evening in BS3.
Pat Lam reaction
Man of the match: Yann Thomas
A dominant performance at the scrum, slick offloads and rampaging line breaks - big Yann Thomas was in sensational form from the off on Wednesday night.
The front rower led the charge for a Bears side that dominated at the set piece, while his first-half dummy and surge down the right-hand side almost led to a memorable score.
Social media reaction
A bonus point win takes us to 64 points in @premrugby equalling the previous best for @BristolBears in the 2006-07 season with a game to play. In 06-07 we scored 43 tries, so far this season we have 65.— Neil Williams (@BrisRugStatto) September 30, 2020
Blackbird. Alfresco style.— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) September 30, 2020
UP THE BEARS! 🐻 pic.twitter.com/8vnodLJo0D
Nice finish from Lloyd. He's turning out to be quite some talent. https://t.co/rxsmIUF3pr— Robert Rees (@Rreesrugby) September 30, 2020
- Lloyd, Byrne, Thomas, Hughes, Thacker
- Sheedy (4)
- Yellow Cards:
- Yellow Cards:
- Simmons, White