- Gallagher Premiership
- Friday, September 14th 2018
Will Carpenter reports from Kingsholm
Report: Gloucester 35-13 Bristol Bears
Friday, September 14th 2018
Gloucester scored 32 unanswered second-half points to condemn Bristol Bears to a 35-13 defeat at Kingsholm on Friday night.
Pat Lam’s side led 13-3 at the interval after Luke Morahan’s 18th-minute try and eight points from the boot of Ian Madigan capped a breath-taking opening 40 minutes.
But the second half was all Gloucester, as the Cherry and Whites scored five tries, including a seven-minute brace from Charlie Sharples while George Smith was in the sin-bin, following Gerbrandt Grobler’s 41st-minute score.
Ed Slater powered his way over on the hour mark before Matt Banahan rounded off proceedings with a powerful finish in the corner to cap a sensational comeback from Johan Ackermann’s side.
In a blistering first-half, Billy Twelvetrees and Ian Madigan traded early blows from the kicking tee, before Bristol Bears silenced the Kingsholm faithful with a stunning long-range try on 16 minutes. Madigan’s delicate grubber was superbly collected by Steven Luatua, and the back-row’s one-handed offload located the supporting Luke Morahan to score his first try in the Gallagher Premiership, with Madigan converting.
The fly-half was on target again on the half-hour mark, landing the simplest of penalties after a ferocious kick chase from the visitors forced a Gloucester error inside the hosts’ 22.
The hosts bounced back, and after Hohneck was held up over the whitewash by a resolute Bears defence, Banahan was also denied by a scything tackle from Piers O’Conor, as Bristol held out until the half-time whistle.
But Gloucester weren’t to be denied again and scored their first try of the evening straight from the kick-off, as Twelvetrees collected Cipriani’s restart and five phases later, Grobler wrestled his way to the line.
Bristol looked to have hit back when Madigan’s inside pass saw Morahan sprint in from 35 metres, but referee Tom Foley adjudged the Irishman’s pass forward.
Foley was in the action again minutes later, sending George Smith to the sin-bin for an infringement close to his own line. And Gloucester took full advantage of their extra man, as Sharples dashed over for a quick-fire double thanks to glossy work from Braley and Cipriani.
Smith returned to bring Bristol back to their full allocation, but it couldn’t stop the Cherry and Whites’ charge. Ed Slater powered over under the posts for the bonus-point score shortly after the hour mark, while Twelvetrees’ second penalty of the evening gave Gloucester a 17-point buffer.
With the clock in the red, Banahan capitalised on a handling error in the Bristol Bears’ 22 to finish well in the left-hand corner and seal a bonus-point win for Johan Ackermann’s men.
Bristol Bears: O’Conor (Kirchner 71); Morahan, Piutau, Pisi, Edwards; Madigan (Sheedy 56), Randall (Stirzaker 56); Thomas, Malton (Thacker 48), Afoa (Armstrong 42), Joyce (Holmes 62), Vui, Luatua (c), Smith, Lam (Haining 65).
Replacements: Thacker, Woolmore, Armstrong, Holmes, Haining, Stirzaker, Sheedy, Kirchner.
Gloucester: Woodward; Sharples, Trinder, Twelvetrees, Banahan; Cipriani, Braley; Hohneck, Marais, Balmain; Slater (capt), Grobler; Polledri, Ludlow, Ackermann.
Replacements: Hanson, Seville, Knight, Clarke, Morgan, Vellacott, Atkinson, Hudson
With George Smith in the sin-bin, Gloucester took full advantage to turn the game on its head with a quick-fire brace from wing Charlie Sharples. From 13-10 up, Bristol Bears were 22-13 down by the time Smith returned to the action, and the visitors were unable to find a route back into the game.
Man of the match: Chris Vui
The Samoan captain impressed in a losing cause at Kingsholm on Friday night, linking play beautifully in the loose and carrying with power and purpose.
Vui also put in a huge defensive shift as Bristol withstood sustained Gloucester pressure towards the end of the first half.
The 24-year-old second row has certainly taken the top flight by storm this season.
Photo of the match:
Social media posts of the game:
- Sharples (2), Banahan, Slater, Grobler
- Twelvetrees (2)
- Twelvetrees (2)
- Yellow Cards:
- Madigan (2)
- Yellow Cards: