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REPORT: Bristol Rugby 8-42 Harlequins

Match Report

Friday, February 10th 2017

Aviva Premiership Rugby

Bristol Rugby 8 - 42 Harlequins*

HT 8-13

Varndell Tries Chisholm, Mulchrone, Hopper, Marchant, Reddish
Conversions Jackson (3), Swiel
Woodward Penalties Jackson (2), Swiel

(Model.KickOffShortRefAlias): 7:45PM

Att: 12771

Venue: Ashton Gate

Ref: Matthew Carley


Bristol Rugby

  • 1 Ryan John Bevington
  • 2 Robert Andrew Hawkins
  • 3 Rodrigo Gaston Cortes
  • 4 Daniel Mark Tuohy
  • 5 Benjamin Edward Glynn
  • 6 Nicholas Sean Fenton-Wells
  • 7 Oliver James Robinson
  • 8 Mitchell William Eadie
  • 9 William Peter Samuel Cliff
  • 10 Billy George Searle
  • 11 Thomas William Varndell
  • 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 Mark Richard Sorenson
  • 20 Jack Tafa Lam
  • 21 Albert Samuel Mathewson
  • 22 Thretton Davis Palamo
  • 23 David Lemi


  • 1 Owen Anthony Lloyd Evans
  • 2 Robert F. Buchanan
  • 3 Adam Rhys Jones
  • 4 George Richard Merrick
  • 5 James Edward Horwill
  • 6 James Robert Chisholm
  • 7 David Patrick Ward
  • 8 Mathew Henry Luamanu
  • 9 Charles Joseph Mulchrone
  • 10 Ruaridh James Howard Jackson
  • 11 Tim Jan Willem Visser
  • 12 Matthew Aaron Hopper
  • 13 Joseph Marchant
  • 14 Marland Xiphus Germain Yarde
  • 15 Ross James Chisholm


  • 16 Joe Aidan Gray
  • 17 Matthew Thomas Shields
  • 18 Tyler Aaron Gendall
  • 19 Mark James Reddish
  • 20 George Edwin Alaese Naoupu
  • 21 Luc Llewellyn Jones
  • 22 Timothy Gregory Swiel
  • 23 Saofai Alofa Alofa

Tom Varndell became the Premiership's all-time leading try scorer - but it wasn't enough to prevent his side from slipping to a heavy 42-8 defeat at the hands of Harlequins at Ashton Gate on Friday night.

The winger touched down in the 19th minute - after Joe Marchant had given Quins a fifth-minute lead - shaking off the attentions of Marland Yarde in the left-hand corner with a fine finish. But that was as good as it got for Bristol as tries from Mark Reddish, Charlie Mulchrone, Matt Hopper and James Chisholm completed a bonus-point win for the visitors.   

What happened?

It was a less than ideal start for Mark Tainton’s men who fell behind with just five minutes on the clock courtesy of a Joe Marchant try, as the centre latched on to Charlie Mulchrone’s neat chip ahead to touch down.

Jackson’s conversion was on target, as was Jason Woodward’s penalty five minutes later to get Bristol on the scoreboard.

Jackson first penalty of the evening edged Quins into a 10-3 lead, before the hosts hit back in some style through Tom Varndells’s 91st and record-breaking Premiership try – the winger producing a stunning finish in the left-hand corner after Hurrell’s initial line-break, before leaving the field with an injury.

RECORD BREAKER: Tom Varndell on his way to a 91st and record-breaking Premiership try (Photo: JMP UK).

Bristol were dogged if unspectacular as they battled to keep a dangerous Quins side at bay, but the visitors dominance was eventually rewarded by a well-struck Jackson penalty from all of 40 metres.

Five points down, Bristol were soon a man down as well when Ryan Bevington was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle, while Chisholm’s pot-shot at goal with the final play never threatened the uprights.

Quins began the second half as they had the first - with an early try, as replacement Mark Reddish bulldozed over from close range after a powerful surge from Marland Yarde.

Jackson’s conversion gave the visitors a 12-point buffer, while another made it 27-8 after Mulchrone had touched down for Quins’ third.

RUMBLE: Ryan Bevington is scythed down by Harlequins captain James Horwill (Photo: JMP UK).

Their fourth was a real 14-point swing as Marchant intercepted Mathewson’s pass - after the scrum half had taken a quick-tap penalty five metres from the Quins line – and Matt Hopper hacked downfield to score.

Bristol struggled to find any kind of attacking rhythm as John Kingston's side closed in on a first away win in Aviva Premiership this season - and James Chisholm put the icing on the Quins cake with a fifth try in the closing stages, while Tim Swiel’s last-gasp penalty completed a comprehensive Quins win.

Key moment:

Bristol trailed by just five points at half-time after Varndell's 19th minute score - but Mark Reddish's try early in the second half and almost immediately from the kick-off dealt the hosts a killer blow.   

Photo of the match:

NINETY-ONE: Tom Varndell is all smiles as he overtakes Mark Cueto as the Premiership's all-time leading try scorer (Photo: JMP UK). 

Man of the match: Dan Tuohy

On a disappointing evening for the home side, Tuohy was a rare shining light. The Irishman was forceful in attack and defence, carrying well and putting in some big hits in midfield. 

Social media post of the day:

The teams:

Bristol Rugby: Jason Woodward; Jack Wallace, Will Hurrell, Tusi Pisi (Palamo 64), Tom Varndell (Lemi 29); Billy Searle, Will Cliff (Mathewson 50); Ryan Bevington (O’Connell 61), Rob Hawkins (Crumpton 70), Gaston Cortes (Ford-Robinson 64), Dan Tuohy, Ben Glynn (Sorenson 55), Nick Fenton-Wells, Olly Robinson (c) (Lam 61), Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: Max Crumpton, Jack O’Connell, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Mark Sorenson, Jack Lam, Alby Mathewson, Thretton Palamo, David Lemi.

Harlequins: Ross Chisholm, Marland Yarde, Joe Marchant, Matt Hopper (Alofa-Alofa), Tim Visser, Ruaridh Jackson (Swiel 62), Charlie Mulchrone (Jones 70); Owen Evans (Gendall 74), Rob Buchanan (Gray 62), Adam Jones, George Merrick (Reddish 40), James Horwill (c), James Chisholm, Dave Ward, Mat Luamanu (Naoupu 64).

Replacements: Joe Gray, Matt Shields, Tyler Gendall, Mark Reddish, George Naoupu, Luc Jones, Tim Swiel, Alofa Alofa.