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REPORT: Bristol Rugby 14-32 Gloucester Rugby

Match Report

Friday, March 24th 2017

Aviva Premiership Rugby

Bristol Rugby 14 - 32 Gloucester Rugby*

HT 6-13

Crumpton Tries Burns, May, Ludlow, Sharples
Conversions Burns (3)
Searle (3) Penalties Burns (2)

KO: 7:45PM

Att: 14510

Venue: Ashton Gate

Ref: JP Doyle


Bristol Rugby

  • 1 Ryan John Bevington
  • 2 Geraint Marc Jones
  • 3 Rodrigo Gaston Cortes
  • 4 James Montague Phillips
  • 5 Mark Richard Sorenson
  • 6 Samuel Phillip Jeffries
  • 7 Jack Tafa Lam
  • 8 Mitchell William Eadie
  • 9 Albert Samuel Mathewson
  • 10 Billy George Searle
  • 11 David Lemi
  • 12 Tusiata Pisi
  • 13 William Harry Hurrell
  • 14 Jack Edward Wallace
  • 15 Jason Christopher Woodward


  • 16 Max Christopher Crumpton
  • 17 Jack James O'Connell
  • 18 Jamal Michael Ford-Robinson
  • 19 Jordan Stephen Crane
  • 20 Nicholas Sean Fenton-Wells
  • 21 Rhodri Williams
  • 22 Jack Terence Tovey
  • 23 Luke Arscott

Gloucester Rugby

  • 1 Patrick R. McAllister
  • 2 Richard Martin Hibbard
  • 3 Joshua Wolfe Hohneck
  • 4 Thomas Charles Savage
  • 5 Jeremy Ian Thrush
  • 6 Sione Maake Kalamafoni
  • 7 Jacob Matthew Rowan
  • 8 Benjamin John Morgan
  • 9 William Alexander Heinz
  • 10 Billy Sean Burns
  • 11 David Frank Harvey Halaifonua Tonga
  • 12 Andrew George Symons
  • 13 Henry Richard Trinder
  • 14 Jonathan James May
  • 15 Thomas Guthrie Marshall


  • 16 Motu Dean Farao Matu'u
  • 17 Yann Peter T. Thomas
  • 18 Paul Peter L. Doran Jones
  • 19 Thomas Oliver Denton
  • 20 Lewis Wyndham Ludlow
  • 21 Callum Edward Braley
  • 22 William Wesley Frederick Twelvetrees
  • 23 Charles D.J. Sharples

Bristol Rugby's hopes of Premiership survival were dealt a hefty blow as they fell to a 14-32 defeat at the hands of Gloucester at Ashton Gate.

Nine points from the boot of Billy Searle and a Max Crumpton try were all Bristol had to show for their evening's work, as Gloucester secured a bonus-point win and in the process, retained the Rifles Cup. 

Tries from Charlie Sharples, Billy Burns, Lewis Ludlow and Jonny May sealed victory for the visitors, while Burns also added 12 points from the kicking tee. 

What happened?

It was first blood to Gloucester – and then Jonny May, literally – as the England winger left the field with a streaming nose minutes after Billy Burns’ penalty had given the visitors the lead.

Jason Woodward then squandered two chances to get Bristol on the scoreboard as he saw penalties from long-range fade wide of the uprights, before Billy Searle knocked over a much simpler effort to level the scores.

First try of the evening went to the visitors and came courtesy of Charlie Sharples – on as a temporary replacement for the bloodied May – who tip-toed his way down the right-hand touchline to dot down in the corner before returning to the bench.

Burns kicked the extras from out wide and added a second penalty seven minutes before the break to extend the Gloucester lead to ten points.

SUPER-SAM: Sam Jeffries breaks clear of the Gloucester defence at Ashton Gate (JMP UK).

Bristol had enjoyed long periods of possession inside the Gloucester half, but were lacking the cutting edge required to break down a resolute visiting defence.

When they finally did, courtesy of the impressive Sam Jeffries, they were denied by the right-hand of Tom Marshall who was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on. Searle fired over the resulting penalty as Bristol headed into the break trailing by seven points.

Woodward’s last-gasp covering tackle prevented Gloucester from extending their lead early in the second half, as he cut down Rowan in the right-hand corner – while at the other end, a third Searle penalty narrowed the gap to four points.

But after an earlier near-miss, Gloucester crossed for their second try on 57 minutes when Billy Burns latched on to an offload to cruise over after Heinz’s grubber kick evaded the covering Arscott.

SCRAGGED: Jack Lam in possession for Bristol during Friday night's home defeat (JMP UK).

Lewis Ludlow burrowed over at the back of a maul for the visitor’s third ten minutes from time, before Bristol hit back through replacement Max Crumpton, who showed power and determination to fight his way over from close range.

But there was still time for Jonny May to secure the try bonus-point for Gloucester, with a score that summed up Bristol’s evening. With the home side on the front foot, Searle’s neat grubber was snaffled by a scrambling Willi Heinz who quickly turned defence into attack. The scrum half’s pass fed Twelvetrees who in turn found May in acres of space – and the flyer wasn’t to be caught as he coasted in from 70 metres to seal a comfortable win for David Humphreys’ men.

Key moment:

Billy Burns' 57th minute score came after a period of Bristol possession inside the Gloucester half - but the hosts were unable to turn pressure into points and the Gloucester fly-half touched down under the posts to give his side plenty of breathing space at 9-20. 

Photo of the match:

RESPECT: Bristol Rugby's players pay their respects to those killed and injured in the attack on Westminster (JMP UK).

Man of the match: Sam Jeffries

The young forward put in a performance full of determination and dynamism on his full Aviva Premiership debut. A series of storming carries - one of which led to Tom Marshall's sin-binning - together with a resolute defensive effort capped another fine display from the 23-year-old.

Social media post of the day:

Bristol Rugby: Jason Woodward; Jack Wallace, Will Hurrell, Tusi Pisi (Tovey 34), David Lemi (Arscott 40); Billy Searle, Alby Mathewson (Williams 65); Ryan Bevington (O’Connell 68), Marc Jones (c) (Crumpton 63), Gaston Cortes (Ford-Robinson 57), James Phillips (Crane 71), Mark Sorenson (Fenton-Wells 59), Sam Jeffries, Jack Lam, Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: Max Crumpton, Jack O’Connell, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Jordan Crane, Nick Fenton-Wells, Rhodri Williams, Jack Tovey, Luke Arscott.

Gloucester: Tom Marshall; Jonny May, Henry Trinder, Andy Symons, David Halaifonua; Billy Burns, Willi Heinz (capt); Paddy McAllister, Richard Hibbard, Josh Hohneck; Tom Savage, Jeremy Thrush; Sione Kalamafoni, Jacob Rowan, Ben Morgan.

Replacements: Motu Matu'u, Yann Thomas, Paul Doran-Jones, Tom Denton, Lewis Ludlow, Callum Braley, Billy Twelvetrees, Charlie Sharples