- Gallagher Premiership
- Friday, February 12th 2021
Will Carpenter reports from Kingsholm
Report: Gloucester Rugby 17-18 Bristol Bears
Saturday, February 13th 2021
Ioan Lloyd’s 75th-minute penalty snatched a dramatic late win at Kingsholm, as the Bears recovered from two Santiago Carreras interceptions to earn a fourth successive Gallagher Premiership victory over Gloucester.
Bryan Byrne opened the scoring early on before Carreras’ double strike, picking off passes from Piers O’Conor and Siale Piutau, fired the Cherry and Whites ahead.
Jake Heenan finished off a slick Bears attack to level the scores at the break, but Ollie Thorley’s try on 53 minutes restored the Gloucester lead.
Ioan Lloyd’s first penalty of the night made it a two-point game, setting the scene for the fly half’s clutch winner five minutes from time.
An early penalty gave the Bears prime field position and from a trademark maul, hooker Bryan Byrne touched down for the opening score.
But the lead didn’t last long, and the visitors quickly became their own worst enemies with two interceptions for Carreras sending Gloucester into the lead. First, O’Conor saw his pass picked off with the Bears looking like scoring themselves, allowing the Argentine the opportunity to race clear for his first. On the half hour mark, it was a carbon copy, as Siale Piutau’s floated pass was gathered by the Cherry and White wing for an easy run-in.
The Bears hit back six minutes before the break, as Hughes’ bust down the right freed up space on the opposite side, and when the ball reached Attwood, his perfectly timed pass sent Heenan under the posts.
It was all square at the break, but the hosts grabbed the first points of the second half – Heinz with the quick tap and offload to a wide-open Thorley.
Lloyd’s first penalty edged the Bears back into contention, before another scything break from O’Conor had the visitors within striking distance again. But as Carreras had done twice in the first half, Woodward nicked in to intercept and set up a 90-metre race for the line. In an almighty scramble, Lloyd made good ground to haul down the Gloucester full back and when he offloaded to Carreras, Morahan was on hand to make the try-saving tackle and the Bears fought on.
It proved to be a defining moment for Lam’s men, who worked their way back downfield to earn the decisive penalty five minutes from time, and Lloyd held his nerve to fire over a 45-metre penalty and secure a West Country derby win.
Gloucester: Woodward; Carreras, Trinder, Atkinson, Thorley; Twelvetrees, Heinz; Rapava-Ruskin, Walker, Balmain, Garvey, Alemanno, Gibson, Ludlow (c), Clarke.
Replacements: Socino, Seville, Ford-Robinson, Craig, Morgan, Chapman, Kveseladze, Moyle.
Bristol: C Piutau; Morahan (Bedlow 69), O'Conor, S Piutau, Purdy; Lloyd, Uren; Chaparro (Woolmore 24), Byrne (Capon 8), Afoa (c) (Armstrong 67), Attwood (Holmes 65), Vui, Heenan, Thomas, Hughes (Harding 63).
Replacements: Capon, Woolmore, Armstrong, Holmes, Harding, Kessell, Bedlow, Leiua.
Gloucester: Tries: Carreras 12, 27, Thorley 53. Cons: Twelvetrees 12
Bristol Bears: Tries: Byrne 5, Heenan 34. Cons: Lloyd 34. Pens: Lloyd 57, 75
The obvious choice would be Ioan Lloyd's late penalty, but the decisive moment in this game was a defensive one.
After O'Conor's slick break through the middle, Woodward's interception looked to be deciding the game for the hosts, but Lloyd and Morahan weren't giving in and the pair raced back to deny Gloucester a try that would have decided the game.
Pat Lam reaction
Man of the match: Dan Thomas
Social media reaction
Yesssss the boys! Friesian whisperer with MotM. Gets a lot done on a diet of turkey dinosaurs, loafs of white bread and pints of milk.— Max Lahiff (@LahiffMax) February 12, 2021
Sheesh 😅 #KeepTheFaith always— Steven Luatua (@StevenLuatua) February 12, 2021
- Carreras (2), Thorley
- Yellow Cards:
- Byrne, Heenan
- Lloyd (2)
- Yellow Cards: