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REPORT: Bristol Rugby 16 - 21 Leicester Tigers

Match Report

Friday, November 25th 2016

Aviva Premiership Rugby

Bristol Rugby 16 - 21 Leicester Tigers*

HT 6-11

Hawkins Tries Genge, Thompstone
Jarvis Conversions Burns
Searle (2), Jarvis Penalties Burns (3)

KO: 7:45PM

Att: 13531

Venue: Ashton Gate

Ref: Tim Wigglesworth


Bristol Rugby

  • 1 Kyle Traynor
  • 2 Geraint Marc Jones
  • 3 Rodrigo Gaston Cortes
  • 4 Ian Richard Evans
  • 5 Mark Richard Sorenson
  • 6 Mitchell William Eadie
  • 7 Oliver James Robinson
  • 8 Jordan Stephen Crane
  • 9 Rhodri Williams
  • 10 Billy George Searle
  • 11 Jack Terence Tovey
  • 12 William Harry Hurrell
  • 13 Jason Christopher Woodward
  • 14 Ryan Luke Edwards
  • 15 Jordan Rhys Williams


  • 16 Robert Andrew Hawkins
  • 17 Ryan John Bevington
  • 18 Jamal Michael Ford-Robinson
  • 19 James Montague Phillips
  • 20 Jonathan Alexander T. Fisher
  • 21 William Peter Samuel Cliff
  • 22 Adrian Thomas Jarvis
  • 23 Jack Edward Wallace

Leicester Tigers

  • 1 Ellis Genge
  • 2 Thomas Nicholas Youngs
  • 3 Gregory Edwin Bateman
  • 4 Edward Nicholas Slater
  • 5 Graham Paul Kitchener
  • 6 Michael Joseph L. Fitzgerald
  • 7 William Giles Evans
  • 8 Luke John Hamilton
  • 9 Samuel James Harrison
  • 10 Freddie Spencer Burns
  • 11 Thomas James Brady
  • 12 Owen Rhys Williams
  • 13 Peter J.J. Betham
  • 14 Adam David Thompstone
  • 15 George Arthur Rolt Worth


  • 16 Harry Joseph Thacker
  • 17 Riccardo Brugnara
  • 18 Patric Michael Cilliers
  • 19 Harry Ronald Wells
  • 20 Lachlan Patrick McCaffrey
  • 21 Jonathon Mark Kitto
  • 22 Etuale Manusamoa Tuilagi
  • 23 Jack Roberts

Bristol Rugby were once again forced to settle for a losing bonus point after being edged out 21-16 by Leicester Tigers at Ashton Gate on Friday.

Rob Hawkins crossed for Bristol’s only try of the evening against his former club, while six points from Billy Searle and five from Adrian Jarvis completed the scoring for the hosts. Tries from Adam Thompstone and Ellis Genge, together with 11 points from the boot of Freddie Burns ensured Tigers took the spoils.

What happened?

The game sprung into life as early as the second minute when Tigers wing Adam Thompstone won an aerial battle and raced away towards the Bristol line, with only a try-saving cover tackle from Rhodri Williams preventing the visitors from taking the lead.

Freddie Burns then spurned a second opportunity to put Leicester ahead when his penalty from in front of the posts drifted wide.

Bristol soon found their way and almost went ahead courtesy of a scorching break from scrum half Rhodri Williams. The Welshman scooped up from the back of a scrum and raced clear, stepping Thompstone on his way into the 22, only to be scythed down by the covering George Worth who prevented a certain try – as Williams had earlier done – with a textbook tackle.

CUT DOWN: Marc Jones is tackled by two Leicester Tigers defenders (Photo: JMP UK). 

Billy Searle then did what Burns had failed to do previously and knocked over a penalty to give the hosts a 3-0 lead – but Burns soon found his range and leveled the scores on 19 minutes.

The visiting fly half then added a second six minutes later to nudge Leicester into a 6-3 lead.

Shortly before the break, a well-worked set-play saw Hurrell crash through the Tigers’ defence and offload to Tovey and when the wing was hauled down, referee Tim Wigglesworth awarded the hosts a penalty, which Searle slotted for 6-6.

Ian Evans was then sent to the sin-bin for an infringement close to the Bristol line, as Leicester piled on the pressure before half time.

The evening’s opening try arrived on 36 minutes and went the way of the visitors, as Thompstone won another aerial dual in the wide channel to slide over, after Burns’ pinpoint cross-field kick had picked him out. The conversion was wide, but Tigers took a five-point advantage into the break.

FEND: Jack Tovey breaks away from the Tigers defence during the first half (Photo: JMP UK). 

Early in the second half, Leicester extended their lead with a second try courtesy of former Bristol player Ellis Genge, who powered over under the posts from close range to give Burns the simplest of conversions – and things went from bad to worse from the kick-off, when Jason Woodward was shown a harsh yellow card for an alleged tackle in the air.

Burns extended the lead further with a third penalty of the evening on 51 minutes – and when Woodward returned to the field, it was Leicester’s turn to lose a man, with McCaffrey yellow carded for pulling down a maul metres short of the try line.

From the resulting penalty, Jarvis kicked to the corner again and after powerful carries from Tovey and Hurrell, Rob Hawkins found a route to the line to bring Bristol back into the game. Jarvis converted to reduce the deficit to eight points and his penalty five minutes from time made it a five-point game.

The hosts were now in losing bonus point range, but surged forward in search of something more substantial. But it wasn’t to be and a knock-on just inside the Leicester half saw referee Wigglesworth bring an entertaining match to a close.

Key moment:

Ellis Genge's try and Jason Woodward's yellow card early in the space of two second half minutes proved a setback for the home side, who were left chasing a 12-point deficit with a temporary numerical disadvantage. 

Photo of the match:

ALL SMILES: Gaston Cortes and Olly Robinson share a joke at scrum time (Photo: JMP UK). 

Man of the match: Will Hurrell

The centre provided another barnstorming display in the midfield, making regular inroads into the Leicester defence and almost putting Tovey away for a try in the first half. 

Social media post of the day:

The teams:

Bristol Rugby: Jordan Williams (Wallace 53); Ryan Edwards, Jason Woodward, Will Hurrell, Jack Tovey; Billy Searle (Jarvis 54), Rhodri Williams (Cliff 54); Kyle Traynor (Ford-Robinson 60), Marc Jones (Hawkins 51), Gaston Cortes (Bevington 60), Ian Evans (Phillips 66), Mark Sorenson, Mitch Eadie, Olly Robinson, Jordan Crane (c) (Fisher 59).

Replacements: Rob Hawkins, Ryan Bevington, Jamal Ford-Robinson, James Phillips, Jon Fisher, Will Cliff, Adrian Jarvis, Jack Wallace.

Leicester Tigers: George Worth, Adam Thompstone, Peter Betham (Tuilagi 63), Owen Williams (Roberts 75), Tom Brady, Freddie Burns, Sam Harrison (Kitto 63); Ellis Genge, Tom Youngs (c) (Wells 73), Greg Bateman (Cillier 63), Ed Slater (Thacker 58), Graham Kitchener, Mike Fitzgerald (McCaffrey 15), Will Evans, Luke Hamilton.

Replacements: Harry Thacker, Riccardo Brugnara, Pat Cilliers, Harry Wells, Lachlan McCaffrey, Jono Kitto, Manu Tuilagi, Jack Roberts.


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