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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Saturday, October 12th 2019

Report: Exeter Chiefs 42-19 Bristol Bears

A spirited Bristol Bears signed off their Premiership Cup campaign with defeat at Sandy Park, as Exeter Chiefs booked their place in the knockout stages of the competition.

First-half tries from Jack Bates and Tom Pincus were cancelled out by a strong Chiefs outfit, as they wrapped up the bonus point by half-time to lead 28-12 at the break.

Jonny Hill, Jack Maunder, Sam Simmonds and Harry Williams all went over from close range inside the opening 40 minutes, before Dave Dennis’ effort midway through the second half put Rob Baxter’s side into a commanding position.

Will Capon grabbed Bristol’s third to take them within a score of the bonus point, but it was Chiefs who had the final say through Marcus Street to take the spoils in Devon.


What happened?

The game was just two minutes old when Jonny Hill galloped down the touchline to open the scoring at Sandy Park and gives the home side the perfect start.

But Bristol hit back in style with a maiden senior try for Jack Bates, who collected Ian Madigan’s cross-field kick before applying a strong finish in the corner.

Jack Maunder’s trademark sniping score restored the Chiefs advantage, before Sam Simmonds powered over from close range for a 21-5 lead.

Bristol fought back again and Tom Pincus’ perseverance when chasing a kick was rewarded with a charge down of Max Bodilly’s clearance and a second try for the visitors.

Jack Bates celebrates his maiden try (JMPUK).

Chiefs though, turned the screw before half time and a series of close drives saw Harry Williams touch down for the bonus-point score.

The opening exchanges of the second half saw Pat Lam’s men gain a foothold in both possession and territory, but after seeing a few chances go begging at one end, Dave Dennis made them pay with a fifth Chiefs try on 61 minutes.

A well-worked driving lineout led to Will Capon’s first competitive try for the club, as Bristol sensed a consolation bonus point.

But Marcus Street burrowed to the line to crown Chiefs’ victory and send them through to the last four of the Premiership Cup.


The teams:

Exeter Chiefs: Bodilly, O'Flaherty, Whitten, Hendrickson, Woodburn, J Simmonds, J Maunder; Hepburn, Yeandle (c), Williams, Dennis, Hill, Ewers, Vermeulen, S Simmonds.
Replacements: Norey, Moon, Street, Kirsten, Kvesic, S Maunder, Steenson, Skinner.

Bristol Bears: Pincus (Lloyd 56); Fricker, Powell (Johnson-Fisher 66), Bedlow, Bates; Madigan, Stirzaker (c); Y Thomas, Kloska (Capon 48), N Thomas (Thiede 48), Attwood (Hamilton 60), Muldowney, Hawkins, Dun, Batley.
Replacements: Capon, Dawe, Thiede, Hamilton, Randall, Lloyd, Eden, Johnson-Fisher.

Exeter Chiefs: Tries: Hill 2, J Maunder 12, S Simmonds 20, Williams 32, Dennis 61, Street 77. Cons: Simmonds 2, 12, 20, 32, 61, Steenson 77.

Bristol Bears: Tries: Bates 8, Pincus 25, Capon 66. Cons: Madigan 25, 66.


Key moment:

Bristol were left with plenty of work to do at half time, trailing by by 16 points - but after long periods of possession and territory inside the Exeter 22 early in the second half, the Chiefs fought their way back downfield and put the game to bed with a try from Dave Dennis.


Man of the match: Nic Stirzaker

A lively performance from the Australian scrum-half, who was captaining the side for the first time this afternoon.

Stirzaker was impressive around the fringes and controlled Bristol's tempo with authority, as the Bears put in a battling display at Sandy Park.


Lam reaction


Photo of the match

Tom Pincus touches down during the first half (JMPUK).

Social media reaction:


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