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Match Report

Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter reports from

Posted Saturday, January 11th 2020

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Report: Bristol Bears 52-3 Brive

Bristol Bears secured a first ever home European quarter final with a seven-try thrashing of Brive at Ashton Gate, as Pat Lam’s men reached the knockout stages for the second successive season.

Piers O’Conor and Dave Attwood scored to give Bristol a commanding 14-point lead at the interval, before the home side side cut loose after the break, with five second-half tries maintaining their 100% record in Pool Four.

Alapati Leiua, Sam Bedlow, Luke Hamilton, Will Capon and Mat Protheroe all touched down to take Bristol through the 50-point barrier, while Brive had just a solitary penalty from Tedo Abzhandadze to show for their efforts.

Callum Sheedy was flawless from the tee with eight successful kicks out of eight for a 17-point haul from the fly half.

What happened?

Bristol made a lively start at Ashton Gate, but the killer touch proved evasive in a dominant opening quarter.

Harry Randall came close to the game’s first try on 11 minutes but saw the ball slip from his grasp as he attempted to ground the ball, after Mat Protheroe’s pace and footwork had cut through the Brive defence.

A Sheedy penalty got the hosts on the scoreboard a minute later, before Piers O’Conor cruised over for a well-worked score after neat work from Morahan down the right-hand side.

Brive hit back courtesy of Tedo Abzhandadze’s long-range penalty five minutes before the interval, but it was the Bears who had the final say of the half, as Randall’s overhead offload located Attwood for his first try back in Bristol colours.

Sam Bedlow touches down in the second half (JMPUK).

Leiua steamed on to a flat pass from Sheedy to give Bristol the perfect start to the second period, before backs and forwards combined for the try of the match, as Jake Woolmore freed his arms to send Bedlow over for the bonus-point try.

Man of the match, Dave Attwood powered through a tackle to release Hamilton for try number five on 58 minutes, while three minutes later, Capon got in on the act from a driving lineout, as Bristol put the hammer down in BS3.

There was still time for a seventh try from the hosts, as Leiua flicked on a delightful pass and Protheroe provided the finishing touches to make it five wins from five in the Challenge Cup.

Teams and scorers:

Bristol Bears: Protheroe, Morahan, O’Conor (Powell 26 (Lloyd 46)), Bedlow, Leiua (Uren 65), Sheedy, Randall; Woolmore (Dawe 62), Thacker (Capon 58), Lahiff (Thiede 46), Attwood (Hawkins 58), Joyce, Luatua (c) (Heenan 54), D Thomas, Hamilton.

Replacements: Capon, Dawe, Thiede, Hawkins, Heenan, Uren, Lloyd, Powell.

Brive: Scholes, Bituniyata, Galletier, Darthou, Buliruarua, Abzhandadze, Lobzhanidze; Tapueluelu, Narisia, Thomas, Malafosse, Lebas, Cerqueira, Voisin (c), Giorgadze.

Replacements: Karkadze, Asieshvili, Johnston, Uys, Kamikamica, Delarue, Herve, Romanet.

Bristol Bears: Tries: O’Conor 13, Attwood 40, Leiua 48, Bedlow 52, Hamilton 58, Capon 61, Protheroe 63. Cons: Sheedy 13, 40, 48, 52, 58, 61, 63. Pens: Sheedy 12

Brive: Pens: Abzhandadze 35

Key moment:

After a steady first-half display, the Bears had just the one try, from Piers O"Conor, to show for their efforts with just one minute to play.

But right on the stroke of half time, some Harry Randall magic - offloading expertly out of the tackle - sent Dave Attwood over for a well-worked try, to open up a commanding lead at the interval. 

Dave Attwood scores Bristol's second try (JMPUK).

Pat Lam reaction:

Man of the match: Dave Attwood

An outstanding display from the Bristolian lock, leading from the front as the Bears got back to winning ways in the Challenge Cup.

Attwood crossed for his first try in Bristol colours since returning to the club, as well as providing a delightful assist for Luke Hamilton's second-half score. 

Photo of the match:

Try time for Alapati Leiua (JMPUK).

Social media highlights:

Yellow Cards:

Yellow Cards:
  • KO: 12AM
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