- European Rugby Challenge Cup
- Saturday, January 12th 2019
- Slava Metreveli Central Stadium
Will Carpenter reports from Slava Metreveli Central Stadium
Report: Enisei STM 9-65 Bristol Bears
Saturday, January 12th 2019
Bristol Bears made it back-to-back away wins in the European Challenge Cup with an 11-try victory over Enisei STM in Sochi, to keep their hopes of a quarter-final spot well and truly alive.
Nick Fenton-Wells scored a hat-trick and Piers O’Conor touched down twice as Pat Lam’s side scored 38 unanswered second-half points to storm to their highest ever points tally in a European away fixture.
Joe Joyce, Nick Haining, Mat Protheroe, Jake Armstrong, Sam Graham and Tom Pincus also got in on the act, while Callum Sheedy kicked five conversions to seal a commanding win for Bristol more than 2,000 miles from home.
Piers O’Conor’s fifth-minute try kick-started the scoring on a soggy afternoon at the Yug Stadium, taking advantage of a break from his midfield partner, Sam Bedlow to crash over.
The Russian side were then reduced to 14 men when wing Denis Simplikevich was sin-binned for leading with the forearm in contact, but it didn’t deter the hosts who soon got on the board courtesy of a Ramil Gaisin penalty.
Bristol scored their second on 14 minutes when good hands on the blindside saw Joe Joyce crash over.
And after a second Gaisin penalty, Pat Lam’s side scored their third through hooker, Nick Fenton-Wells, who capitalised on a strong driving lineout to touch down.
Gaisin kicked his third penalty after Bristol were penalised for not rolling away, but the visitors secured the bonus-point on 35 minutes when Nick Haining darted over after a series of short carries had taken them within striking range.
Bristol were briefly denied a fifth shortly before half-time when Mat Protheroe’s try was ruled out by the referee. But the full-back made amends minutes later, scorching down the blindside from a well-worked set-piece to give Bristol a commanding lead at the break.
Tom Pincus and Luke Daniels combined to force an opening for Jake Armstrong for Bristol’s sixth, before Fenton-Wells grabbed his second on 54 minutes after a sweeping counter attack from the visitors.
Sam Graham got in on the act just two minutes after coming on as a replacement, while Tom Pincus applied the finishing touches to a fine dummy and break from Callum Sheedy, as Bristol passed the 50-point mark shortly after the hour.
Fenton-Wells completed his hat-trick from another well-worked driving lineout, before O’Conor rounded off the scoring with his second late on to sign-off an emphatic Bristol win.
Teams and scorers:
Bristol Bears: Protheroe (Powell 43); Pincus, O’Conor, Bedlow (Eden 68), Daniels; Sheedy (co-capt), Uren (Stirzaker 48); Woolmore (Dawe 54), Fenton-Wells, Armstrong (Thiede 54), Holmes (Hawkins 54), Joyce, 6. Haining, Heenan, Crane (cc) (Graham 54).
Replacements: Thacker, Dawe, Thiede, Hawkins, Graham, Stirzaker, Eden, Powell.
Enisei-STM: Maslov, Babaev, Trishin, Gerasimov, Simplikevich, Gaisin, Shcherban; Sekisov, Magomedov, Zykov, Saulite, Elgin, Gachechiladze, Temnov, Gargalic.
Replacements: Mamukashvili, Polivalov, Pronenko, Krotov, Biakov, Riabischuk, Mikhaltsov, Orlov.
Bristol Bears: Tries: O’Conor 5, 76, Joyce 14, Fenton-Wells 21, 54, 72, Haining 35, Protheroe 39, Armstrong 52, Graham 60, Pincus 64. Cons: Sheedy 5, 52, 54, 60, 72
Enisei-STM: Pens: Gaisin 11, 19, 28. Yellow: Simplikevich 9
- Gaisin (3)
- Yellow Cards:
- Simplikevich, Saulite
- Protheroe, Pincus, O'Conor (2), Fenton-Wells (3), Armstrong, Joyce, Haining, Graham
- Sheedy (5)
- Yellow Cards: