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Report: Bristol Rugby 55-18 Plymouth Albion

Bristol Rugby returned to the top of the Greene King IPA Championship with a 55-18 defeat of Plymouth Albion on New Year’s Day.

A league record attendance of 10,701 watched Andy Robinson’s men score nine tries at Ashton Gate.

Ryan Jones, Gareth Maule and Olly Robinson all bagged braces, while Andy Short, Mitch Eadie and Auguy Slowik also went over in a one-sided affair.

Plymouth started brightly and could have taken the lead, only for Declan Cusack to skew an early penalty goal attempt.

Instead, it was the home side who went ahead when Ryan Jones powered over for his first try in the blue and white hoops.

Cusack’s three-pointer reduced the deficit to 5-3, while Eoghan Grace came close after a fine solo break down the outside channel.

Cusack added a second successful penalty goal to nudge Albion ahead, before Bristol hit back through Andy Short’s well-worked try.

The winger collected Nicky Robinson’s spiralling pass to muscle his way over in the corner for an unconverted score.

Andy Robinson’s men crossed for a third try on the half hour mark as Ryan Jones took advantage of a surge at scrum time to dot down for his second of the afternoon, which Robinson duly converted.

Plymouth stayed in touch when Rob Langley burrowed his way over the whitewash from close-range after a spell of pressure.

But, on the brink of half-time, Bristol stretched their advantage, securing the bonus point when Olly Robinson latched onto Gareth Maule’s smart offload to race in under the posts for a converted try.

Rhys Oakley was yellow carded for Plymouth early in the second period and, from the resulting scrum, Mitch Eadie touched down from five metres, while Robinson converted to give Bristol breathing space at 31-13.

As the visitors tired, Bristol added two tries in quick succession as Gareth Maule and Auguy Slowik exploited space in the Albion defence to cross.

Replacement hooker Tom Cowan-Dickie’s try from the back of a driving lineout ensured the flurry of points continued, before Maule bundled his way over in the corner to bring up the fifty point mark with ten minutes to play.

With time running out, Olly Robinson went over for his second try to seal a comprehensive victory at Ashton Gate.