- Gallagher Premiership
- Tuesday, September 8th 2020
- Ashton Gate
Will Carpenter reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol Bears 47-10 Northampton Saints
Tuesday, September 8th 2020
Bristol Bears ran in seven tries to storm to a bonus point victory over Northampton Saints and reclaim second place in the Gallagher Premiership.
Pat Lam’s men were 21-3 up inside the first 19 minutes thanks to converted tries from Harry Thacker, Alapati Leuia and Andy Uren.
Josh Gillespie crossed for Saints early in the second half, but Chris Vui sealed the bonus point on 62 minutes and from here, the Bears shifted through the gears.
Ben Earl coasted in for a fifth before Piers O'Conor rounded off yet another try of the season contender, leaving Luke Morahan to cap a resounding Bears victory.
In a blistering opening quarter, the Bears ran riot with three quickfire tries to storm into a commanding lead, after Grayson’s third-minute penalty had edged Saints into an early lead.
First Thacker drove over from a well-worked five-metre lineout, then Leiua coasted over out wide after collecting Piutau’s beautifully floated long pass.
The third followed on 18 minutes as Earl scorched on to Thacker’s delicate pass before locating Uren for a second try in as many games.
Sheedy then saw his penalty strike the post and the Bears were also guilty of being a tad wasteful as they went in search of the bonus point try before half time.
But after Gillespie had collected Grayson’s kick to score Saints’ first try of the evening, the Bears shifted into action.
COAST TO COAST. 🏝pic.twitter.com/zVb3pigsJp— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) September 8, 2020
Morahan danced his way into space before sending Vui over in the right-hand corner, then Earl started and finished another sweeping attack to score his 10th Gallagher Premiership try of the season.
The highlight of the evening, and perhaps the season, followed immediately from the restart, as Radradra, Leiua, Thomas and Cook combined to send O’Conor over for a 90-metre, end-to-end try.
The highlights didn’t end there as the Bears finished with an artistic flourish at the Gate – Luatua and Lloyd traded back-of-the-hand passes and Sheedy’s cross-kick found Morahan in space for his ninth of another impressive campaign.
The Wallaby almost moved into double figures late on but dragged his foot into touch as he dived for the corner, at the end of another flowing Bears surge.
It’s the most points Bristol have scored in a Gallagher Premiership match since 2003, as Lam’s men move back into second place.
Teams and scorers
Bristol Bears: Tries: Thacker 9, Leiua 16, Uren 18, Vui 62, Earl 66, O’Conor 68, Morahan 73. Cons: Sheedy 9, 16, 19, 62, 66, 68
Northampton Saints: Tries: Gillespie 57. Cons: Grayson 57. Pens: Grayson 3
It was a quite remarkable start from the Bears, who scored three tries in the first 20 minutes to blow the Saints away in some style.
After Thacker and Leiua had touched down to put the hosts in the ascendency, Earl and Uren combined for this work of art.
Artistry. 🖼pic.twitter.com/Jl2sn5rbnn— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) September 8, 2020
Pat Lam reaction
🎥| "The message was to look after the ball because there was plenty of opportunity. We finished strong."— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) September 8, 2020
Pat Lam says there is plenty to work on 👇 pic.twitter.com/ueb1EaPBb4
Man of the match: Ben Earl
One try, one assist and almost the complete performance from the England flanker.
Earl ran for 74 metres with ball in hand, beat three defenders, gave two offloads and made 13 tackles in a superb display, as the Bears ran riot at Ashton Gate.
Social media reaction
Well that was the full Bear experience for Saints, wasn’t it? 7 tries and running wild & free at Ashton Gate. Boyd’s boys in a deep old hole right now @btsportrugby 🐻— Alastair Eykyn (@alastaireykyn) September 8, 2020
Well that was fun.. hope our 16th men enjoyed that one from home.. I’m sure you’ll be back getting ashton gate rocking again soon @BristolBears 😅🐻— Callum Sheedy (@Sheedy95) September 8, 2020
A brilliant Bears performance 🐻@BristolBears score their highest points haul in a #GallagherPrem match since 2003 as they beat @SaintsRugby to go second! 🤩— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) September 8, 2020
Man of the match?#BRIvNOR pic.twitter.com/gtt577qyzM
- Morahan, O'Conor, Leiua, Uren, Thacker, Vui, Earl
- Sheedy (6)
- Yellow Cards:
- Yellow Cards: