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REPORT: Bristol Rugby 41-14 Pau

Match Report

Sunday, December 11th 2016

European Rugby Challenge Cup

Bristol Rugby 41 - 14 Pau*

HT 22-7

Searle, Arscott, Palamo, Varndell, Wallace, Brooker (2) Tries Votu, Daubagna
Searle (2), Jarvis Conversions Fajardo (2)


Att: 7559

Venue: Ashton Gate

Ref: Dudley Phillips


Bristol Rugby

  • 1 Jack James O'Connell
  • 2 Max Christopher Crumpton
  • 3 Anthony Isaac Perenise
  • 4 Giorgi Nemsadze
  • 5 Ian Richard Evans
  • 6 Ralph Nicholas Koster
  • 7 Nicholas Sean Fenton-Wells
  • 8 James Montague Phillips
  • 9 Andrew William Uren
  • 10 Billy George Searle
  • 11 David Lemi
  • 12 Luke Arscott
  • 13 Thretton Davis Palamo
  • 14 Thomas William Varndell
  • 15 Jack Edward Wallace


  • 16 Christopher Leslie Brooker
  • 17 Ryan John Bevington
  • 18 Jamal Michael Ford-Robinson
  • 19 Benjamin Edward Glynn
  • 20 Joseph John Joyce
  • 21 Martin Roberts
  • 22 Adrian Thomas Jarvis
  • 23 Jack Terence Tovey


  • 1 Geoffrey Moise
  • 2 Lucas Rey
  • 3 Malik Hamadache
  • 4 Masalosalo Tutaia
  • 5 Abdelatif Boutaty
  • 6 Sean Dougall
  • 7 Giovanni Habel Kueffner-Mulitalo
  • 8 Patrick Butler
  • 9 Unalotokipulotu Vea Teutau Moa
  • 10 Brandon Fajardo
  • 11 Marvin Lestremau
  • 12 Pierre Dupouy
  • 13 Julien Fumat
  • 14 Watisoni Votu
  • 15 Charly Gilbert Malie


  • 16 Quentin Lespiaucq-Brettes
  • 17 Julien Jacquot
  • 18 Matthew Martin Joseph Tierney
  • 19 Baptiste Pesenti-Compagnoni
  • 20 Loic Bernad
  • 21 Julien Tomas
  • 22 Thibault Daubagna
  • 23 Mehdi Boundjema

Bristol Rugby ran in seven tries to cruise to a 41-14 European Challenge Cup victory over Pau at Ashton Gate on Sunday.

Chris Brooker scored a second half brace, while there were further scores for Jack Wallace, Luke Arscott, Billy Searle, Tom Varndell and Thretton Palamo, as Bristol secured a first bonus point win of the season.

What happened?

On his return from international duty, Thretton Palamo was heavily involved in the opening exchanges, twice carrying hard from first phase and almost finding a route through the Pau defence.

The centre then swapped brute force for subtle handling to free up Varndell on the right-hand side – and when the ball was moved back across the pitch, Jack Wallace found the space to canter over in the corner. Searle’s conversion drifted across the face of the posts.

Pau were demonstrating a willingness to offload in the tackle and after two such offloads had put Bristol on the back foot, referee Dudley Phillips awarded the visitors a penalty for a high tackle in midfield. Pau fly half Brandon Fajardo lined up the kick at goal but his effort was off target and Bristol cleared downfield via a 22 dropout.

STRETCH: Tom Varndell reaches out to touch down in the corner (Photo: JMP UK). 

The hosts though, were also beginning to play some eye-catching rugby and the second try soon arrived. A powerful maul in the Pau 22 took Bristol to within eight yards of the line and from here, Searle found Arscott in midfield and the centre’s deft pass sent Varndell flying into the corner, shaking off two Pau tacklers along the way. Searle’s conversion again drifted wide.

Pau hit back and quickly reduced the deficit to three points with a well-worked converted try courtesy of Watisoni Votu, with the winger latching on to Fumat’s neat offload to touch down under the posts. Fajardo added the extras.

But Bristol were next on the score sheet – and in some style – with a move started and finished by Billy Searle. From a lineout on halfway, Searle’s inside pass put a speeding David Lemi in the clear. The captain was hauled down ten metres short, but Koster’s charge and offload found Searle, who slid over for his first Bristol try and a 15-7 lead.

Bristol were beginning to enjoy themselves and the bonus point try arrived before half time when Luke Arscott went over at the back of a powerful Bristol maul, while Searle’s conversion opened up a 15-point lead at the interval.

ALL SMILES: Bristol celebrate Luke Arscott's first half try at Ashton Gate (Photo: JMP UK). 

The second half started at breakneck speed – and so did Thretton Palamo. The American centre charged on to a beautifully timed pass in midfield before sprinting 40 metres to the line for a fine individual score – Bristol’s fifth of the afternoon. Searle’s conversion found its target and Bristol led 29-7.

What followed was a scrappy and disjointed 20-minute period, with neither side able to keep hold of the ball for a sustained period.

The next notable action saw Pau’s Pierre Dupouy sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on 71 minutes - and Bristol took full advantage with two quick-fire trys, as replacement hooker Chris Brooker bagged a close range brace.

Thibault Daubagna crossed for a late consolation for the visitors, but it barely put a dent in the score line as Bristol recorded a 41-14 victory.

Key moment:

Jack Wallace's third minute try set the tone for a barnstorming Bristol performance and set them on their way to a first bonus point win of the season.

Photo of the match:

BILLY WHIZZ: Billy Searle dives over for his first Bristol try (Photo: JMP UK). 

Man of the match: Luke Arscott

Playing at inside centre, Arscott was at his creative best throughout the afternoon - scoring one and providing the final pass for another two, as Bristol racked up a bonus point win at Ashton Gate.

Social media post of the day:

The teams:

Bristol Rugby: Jack Wallace; Tom Varndell, Thretton Palamo (Tovey 62), Luke Arscott, David Lemi (c); Billy Searle (Jarvis 55), Andy Uren (Roberts 46); Jack O’Connell (Bevington 50), Max Crumpton (Brooker 62), Anthony Perenise (Ford-Robinson 40), Giorgi Nemsadze, Ian Evans (Glynn 50), Nick Koster (Joyce 60), Nick Fenton-Wells, James Phillips.

Replacements: Chris Brooker, Ryan Bevington, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Ben Glynn, Joe Joyce, Martin Roberts, Adrian Jarvis, Jack Tovey.

Pau: Charly Malie, Watisoni Votu (Daubagna 66), Julien Fumat, Pierre Dupouy, Marvin Lestremeau, Brandon Fajardo, Taniela Moa Teutau, Geoffrey Moise (Jacquot 50), Lucas Rey (Brettes 54), Malik Hamadache (Tierney 54), Masalosalo Tutaia, Abdellif Boutaty, Sean Dougall (Bernad 57), Giovanni Habel Kuffner, Paddy Butler (c) (Pesenti 47).

Replacements: Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, Julien Jacquot, Matthew Tierney, Baptiste Pesenti, Lioc Bernad, Julien Tomas, Thibault Daubagna, Mehdi Boundjema. 

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