- Gallagher Premiership
- Friday, May 20th 2022
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 40-33 Exeter Chiefs
Friday, May 20th 2022
Bristol Bears ran in six tries to storm to an enthralling victory over Exeter Chiefs in their final home game of the Gallagher Premiership season.
Led by a dazzling double from the outstanding Charles Piutau, Pat Lam’s side brushed aside the play-off chasing Chiefs in trademark style in front of more than 19,000 supporters in BS3.
Harry Randall’s quickly taken penalty caught Chiefs napping for the game’s opening score, as the England number nine raced clear to send half-back partner Sheedy under the sticks.
It came just nine minutes after Stuart Hogg had seen his effort ruled out for a knock-on in the build-up, but the Chiefs were soon on the board through early replacement Santiago Grondona.
Piutau grabbed his first of the evening on the half hour mark, delivering a devastating step off the left foot to touch down and edge the Bears back in front.
Josh Hodge scored in the corner to send the sides in all square at the interval – and the visitors saw another try chalked off early in the second half for a late tackle on Piers O’Conor.
Man of the match Piutau was at his scintillating best and the All Black bagged his second on 48 minutes thanks to the quick thinking of Harry Randall.
Leiua capped his final display at Ashton Gate with a try to remember – Sheedy the creator with a step, break and outrageous back-of-the-hand offload, leaving Leiua to round Hendrickson and apply the finishing touches and seal the bonus point.
Jack Bates was yellow carded for an adjudged high tackle and shortly after, the Chiefs struck twice in three minutes to level the scores, through James Kenny and Olly Woodburn.
But back came the Bears, with Fricker pouncing on a loose pass from Slade to run in from 70 metres – and when Morahan finished a flowing handling move, involving Leiua, Sheedy and Lloyd, the hosts were home and hosed.
Dave Ewers grabbed a late consolation for the Chiefs, but it couldn’t tarnish an entertaining evening in BS3.
Bristol Bears: Piutau; Morahan, O'Conor (Bates 46), Leiua, Fricker; Sheedy (Lloyd 56), Randall (Uren 65); Woolmore (Benz-Salomon 64), Thacker (Byrne 48), Afoa (Armstrong 66), Attwood (Harding 54), Joyce, Vui, Jeffries, Luatua (c) (D Thomas 61).
Replacements: Byrne, Benz-Salomon, Armstrong, Harding, D Thomas, Uren, Lloyd, Bates.
Exeter Chiefs: Hogg; Woodburn, Slade, Whitten, Hodge, J Simmonds, S Maunder; Hepburn, Yeandle (c), Williams, Gray, S Skinner, Ewers, Kirsten, Vermeulen.
Replacements: Innard, Kenny, Schickerling, Jenkins, Grondona, Townsend, H Skinner, Hendrickson.
Pat Lam reaction
Pick of the Match: Charles Piutau
- Piutau (2), Morahan, Leiua, Fricker, Sheedy
- Sheedy (4), Lloyd
- Yellow Cards:
- Woodburn, Hodge, Ewers, Kenny, Grondona
- Simmonds (4)
- Yellow Cards: