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REPORT: Exeter Braves 26-10 Bristol United

Bristol United fell to a 26-10 defeat to Exeter Braves at Sandy Park on Monday night. 

Andy Uren and Gareth Maule touched down either side of half-time for United, but four tries from the home side - courtesy of Marcus Street (2), AJ Cant and Harrison Cully - saw them take the spoils.

In driving rain at Sandy Park, an error strewn first-half came to life on 11 minutes when Gareth Maule was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on.

Exeter took full advantage just a minute later, with AJ Cant coasting over in the corner and Will Hooley adding a fine conversion from the left-hand touchline.

They were at it again four minutes later, as Harrison Cully rounded off a sweeping handling move in the opposite corner, while Hooley’s conversion faded across the face of the posts.

Facing a 12-point deficit and still down to 14 men, United hit back when, after a neat kick and chase from Auguy Slowik, Andy Uren latched on to an offload from Nick Fenton-Wells to touch down.

The 20 minutes that followed saw a combination of handling errors and Exeter pressure, with only a resilient and combative Bristol defence ensuring there would be no further score before half time.

Much of the second half followed a similar theme to the first, with handling errors and kicking dominating proceedings.

That was until some swift thinking from Andy Uren saw the visitors narrow the gap to two points, as the scrum-half fired over a pinpoint cross-field kick from a quickly taken penalty into the arms of Gareth Maule, who dabbed down in the corner. Newey’s conversion came up short to leave United trailing by two.

But back came Exeter and a period of sustained pressure in the United 22 saw the home side add a third try from close range courtesy of Marcus Street, with Simmonds’ conversion extending the lead to 19-12 with five minutes to play.

Street added his second and Exeter's fourth two minutes from time, with Simmonds' conversion completing the scoring.  

Bristol United: Luke Arscott; Auguy Slowik, Gareth Maule, James Newey, Elias Caven; Robbie Forbes (Hartpury), Andy Uren; Ollie Dawe, Scott Parsons (Old Reds), James Hall, BJ Edwards, John Hawkins, Nick Koster, Nick Fenton-Wells (c), Rayn Smid.

Replacements: Jordan Rye (Bath Uni), Tom Rowland (Academy U18s), James Dun (Academy U18s), Kean Gannaway Roberts (Academy U18s), Alex Haynes (Old Colstonians), Iwan Hughes (Academy U18s), Dan Powell (Plymouth Albion).

Exeter Braves: Joe Simmonds, Harrison Cully, Max Bodilly, Harry Strong, AJ Cant, Will Hooley, Haydn Thomas, Carl Rimmer, Shaun Malton, Jack Owlett, Ollie Atkins, Sam Skinner (capt), Tom Johnson, Ben White, Tom Lawday

Replacements: Jack Innard, Will Norton, Marcus Street, Josh Caulfield, James McRae, Matt Marsh, Joe Elderkin, Chris Swash.

Referee: Adam Leal

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