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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Saturday, November 13th 2021

Report: Exeter Chiefs 27-33 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears fought back from 14-0 down to open their Premiership Cup account with a five-try victory over Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.

Early tries from James Kenny and Jack Walsh had fired the Chiefs into a commanding lead inside the first quarter, but the Bears hit back with a double-strike five minutes before the interval. First, a dominant lineout drive saw referee Michael Hudson award a penalty try and send Kenny to the sin-bin. Then, on the stroke of half time, neat work from Sam Jeffries and Dan Thomas sent Sam Bedlow over to level the scores.

Thomas was yellow carded early in the second period for a professional foul, allowing Josh Hodge the opportunity to edge the Chiefs in front. They went further ahead minutes later, when Walsh stepped up to intercept a loose pass and race clear from 50 metres.

Will Capon rumbled over on the hour mark to drag the Bears back into contention, and when Jeffries’ surge down the left touchline freed up the supporting Oscar Lennon, Dan Thomas darted over with Bedlow’s touchline conversion nudging the visitors ahead.

And they put the game to bed four minutes from time when Academy back row Macenzzie Duncan powered over from close range to mark his competitive debut in style.

Hodge landed a late penalty to earn Chiefs a losing bonus-point, but it was the Bears who left Sandy Park with the maximum haul.

Exeter Chiefs: Hidge, Relton, O’Brien, Whitten, John, Walsh, Maunder (c); Kenny, Burrows, Nixon, Jenkins, McCauley, Pearson, Hinkley, Tuima.
Replacements: Poole, Southworth, Schickerling, Teague, Hosking, Cairns, Barton, Wyatt.

Bristol Bears:  Morahan (Powell 62), Bailey (Lennon 53), Bates, Frisch, Fricker, Lloyd (Bedlow 26), Strang; Woolmore (Challenger 62), Thacker (Capon 55), Armstrong (Benz-Salomon 58), Attwood (c) (Holmes 55), Hawkins, Jeffries (Duncan 62), D. Thomas, Hughes.

Replacements:  Capon, Challenger, Benz-Salomon, Holmes, Duncan, Lennon, Bedlow, Powell.


Conor McPhillips reaction


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