• Gallagher Premiership
  • Saturday, January 9th 2021
  • Sandy Park
Club Badge Exeter 7
Club Badge Bristol 20

Match Report

Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter reports from Sandy Park

Posted Saturday, January 9th 2021

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Report: Exeter Chiefs 7-20 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears delivered an outstanding performance on both sides of the ball to beat Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park for the second season running and soar to the top of the Gallagher Premiership.

Tries in either half from Harry Randall and Semi Radradra cut through an ice-cold afternoon in Devon and cancelled out Jonny Hill’s 35th-minute effort, while Callum Sheedy was faultless from the tee with two conversions and two penalties.

It’s a fifth successive Gallagher Premiership win for Pat Lam’s side, who now find themselves four points clear at the top of the table.


What happened?

A cagey opening quarter was brought to life by Randall, whose quickly taken penalty caught Chiefs napping, but his kick ahead for the supporting Ben Earl was grounded by Sam Hidalgo-Clyne in-goal.

But the scrum half was back in the action again shortly after, applying the finishing touches to a cleverly-worked lineout move to open the scoring.

The scrum was a scrappy affair early on, and after numerous resets and free-kicks, referee Karl Dickson eventually ran out of patience and issued yellow cards to both Woolmore and Williams, making it 14-a-side.

The hosts levelled the scores five minutes before half time when Jonny Hill crashed over from close range with Simmonds converting for 7-7.

Sheedy’s penalty edged the Bears in front after neat work from Sinckler and Radradra put them on the front foot.

But the game’s decisive moment arrived ten minutes from time, when Radradra raced on to O’Conor’s deft pass to stretch over for his side’s second try, with Sheedy’s conversion opening up a ten-point lead.

The fly half was on target again two minutes from time to put the icing on a sensational away display from the Bears.

Exeter Chiefs: Walsh; Woodburn, Slade, Devoto, Whitten; J Simmonds (c), Hidalgo-Clyne; Hepburn, Cowan-Dickie, Williams, Witty, Hill, Skinner, Armand, S Simmonds

Replacements: Yeandle, Kenny, Francis, Price, Gray, Maunder, Baldwin, Short

Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Morahan (Leiua 63), Radradra, O'Conor, Naulago (Lloyd 56); Sheedy, Randall (Uren 74); Woolmore (Y Thomas 29), Byrne (Capon 59), Sinckler (Afoa 63), Attwood, Joyce (Dun 74), Luatua (c), Earl (D Thomas 63), Hughes.

Replacements: Capon, Y Thomas, Afoa, Dun, D Thomas, Uren, Lloyd, Leiua

Exeter Chiefs: Tries: Hill 35. Cons: J Simmonds 35. Yellow: Williams 29

Bristol Bears: Tries: Randall 16, Radradra 70. Cons: Sheedy 16, 70, 78. Pens: Sheedy 44. Yellow: Woolmore 29


Key moment

With the game very much in the balance at 7-10, a scrum inside the Bears 22 saw Hughes carry strongly into midfield.

From the next phase, Randall's wide pass picked out Lloyd, who plucked the ball out of the sky and dropped it on to his right foot in the same movement. The ball sat up nicely and once regathered by the Welsh flyer, his left-footed kick ahead forced Simmonds to carry the ball over his own line.

From here, the Bears turned the screw and minutes later, Radradra dived over to score the game's decisive try.


Pat Lam reaction


Man of the match: Harry Randall

A try, wonderful game management and delicious array of passing, this was another masterclass from Harry Randall.

The number nine ran the show for the Bears, even getting himself on the end of a powerful driving lineout for the opening try.


Social media reaction


Exeter

Tries:
Hill
Conversions
Simmonds
Penalties:
Yellow Cards:
Williams

Bristol

Tries:
Radradra, Randall
Conversions:
Sheedy (2)
Penalties:
Sheedy (2)
Yellow Cards:
Woolmore
  • KO: 4:30PM
  • Att: 0
  • Venue: Sandy Park
  • Ref: Karl Dickson

Exeter

  • Jack Walsh
  • Olly Woodburn
  • Henry Slade
  • Ollie Devoto
  • Ian Whitten
  • Joe Simmonds
  • Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
  • Alec Hepburn
  • Luke Cowan-Dickie
  • Harry Williams
  • Will Witty
  • Jonny Hill
  • Sam Skinner
  • Don Armand
  • Sam Simmonds

Substitutes

  • Jack Yeandle
  • James Kenny
  • Tomas Francis
  • Tom Price
  • Jonny Gray
  • Sam Maunder
  • Corey Baldwin
  • James Short

Bristol

  • Charles Piutau
  • Luke Morahan
  • Semi Radradra
  • Piers O'Conor
  • Ratu Naulago
  • Callum Sheedy
  • Harry Randall
  • Jake Woolmore
  • Bryan Byrne
  • Kyle Sinckler
  • Dave Attwood
  • Joe Joyce
  • Steven Luatua
  • Ben Earl
  • Nathan Hughes

Substitutes

  • Will Capon
  • Yann Thomas
  • John Afoa
  • James Dun
  • Daniel Thomas
  • Andy Uren
  • Ioan Lloyd
  • Alapati Leiua

Match Overview

Scorers

Exeter

  • Simmonds
  • ,
  • Hill

Bristol

  • Radradra
  • ,
  • Sheedy (2)
  • ,
  • Randall

Yellow Cards

Exeter

  • Williams

Bristol

  • Woolmore

Line Up

Exeter

  • Walsh
  • ,
  • Woodburn
  • ,
  • Slade
  • ,
  • Devoto
  • ,
  • Whitten
  • ,
  • Simmonds
  • ,
  • Hidalgo-Clyne
  • ,
  • Hepburn
  • ,
  • Cowan-Dickie
  • ,
  • Williams
  • ,
  • Witty
  • ,
  • Hill
  • ,
  • Skinner
  • ,
  • Armand
  • ,
  • Simmonds
  • ,
  • Yeandle
  • ,
  • Francis
  • ,
  • Gray
  • ,
  • Maunder
  • ,
  • Short

Subs not used

  • Kenny
  • ,
  • Price
  • ,
  • Baldwin

Bristol

  • Piutau
  • ,
  • Morahan
  • ,
  • Radradra
  • ,
  • O'Conor
  • ,
  • Naulago
  • ,
  • Sheedy
  • ,
  • Randall
  • ,
  • Woolmore
  • ,
  • Byrne
  • ,
  • Sinckler
  • ,
  • Attwood
  • ,
  • Joyce
  • ,
  • Luatua
  • ,
  • Earl
  • ,
  • Hughes
  • ,
  • Capon
  • ,
  • Thomas
  • ,
  • Afoa
  • ,
  • Dun
  • ,
  • Thomas
  • ,
  • Uren
  • ,
  • Lloyd
  • ,
  • Leiua