• Gallagher Premiership
  • Saturday, June 5th 2021
  • Mattioli Woods Welford Road
Club Badge Leicester 23
Club Badge Bristol 26

Match Report

Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter reports from Mattioli Woods Welford Road

Posted Saturday, June 5th 2021

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Report: Leicester Tigers 23-26 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears held off a late Leicester charge to earn a bonus-point win at Mattioli Wood Welford Road and seal a home semi-final in the Gallagher Premiership.

First half tries from Semi Radradra and the returning Harry Randall fired Pat Lam’s side into an eight-point lead at the interval, but Jonny McPhillips’ third penalty and Hanro Liebenberg’s score edged the Tigers in front on 54 minutes.

The Bears responded immediately as Sheedy sent Malins through a gap and on his way to the line from 60 metres, before O’Conor’s interception and offload gifted a second to Radradra and bagged the bonus-point.

But in a dramatic final quarter, Jake Kerr was sent to the sin bin and Julian Montoya powered over to make it a three-point game with 13 minutes left to play.

And with Tigers camped on the visitors’ line, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro became the second player to see yellow, as the hosts piled on the pressure late on.

But the Bears held on, with Uren scooping into touch to seal the win and a first ever top-two finish in the Gallagher Premiership.


What happened?

McPhillips punctuated a scrappy opening 20 minutes with his first penalty of the afternoon, before the Bears came to life in trademark style. Malins broke from deep and offloaded from the deck into the lap of Siale Piutau, and the Tongan’s pinpoint pass sent Radradra to the line.

McPhillips added a second, but the returning Randall quickly cancelled it out, tapping a penalty on half way and racing over for his side’s second try.

It was five-point game four minutes into the second period when McPhillips landed his third penalty of the afternoon, but he was unable to land a fourth from the angle shortly after.

The Tigers’ number ten was the architect of Liebenberg’s score on 54 minutes, breaking the line before locating the South African in space to give the home side a narrow lead.

The Bears hit back with a sensational first phase try – Sheedy with the double-pump to pull Murimurivalu out of the defensive line and allow Malins to ghost through the whole the Fijian had left.

The bonus point arrived on the hour mark when O’Conor snaffled an interception from George Martin’s loose pass and fed Radradra, but when Kerr was shown yellow with 15 minutes remaining, Tigers sensed an opportunity.

They took it almost immediately courtesy of Montoya and a well-worked driving lineout – and when Chaparro replaced Kerr in the sin bin, Tigers found themselves camped on the Bears line.

Four scrum drives followed before Uren latched on to a loose ball to punt into touch and ensure the Bears’ second successive play-off semi-final would be at Ashton Gate.

Leicester Tigers: Steward; Potter, Moroni, Scott, Murimurivalu; McPhillips, B Youngs; Genge, T Youngs (c), Cole, Wells, Henderson, Martin, Reffell, Liebenberg.

Replacements: Montoya, Whitcombe, Heyes, Lavanini, Wiese, Wigglesworth, Henry, Nadolo.

Bristol Bears: Malins; O'Conor, Radradra, S Piutau (Leiua 75), Purdy (Lloyd 58); Sheedy, Randall; Y Thomas, Capon (Kerr 40), Afoa (Chaparro 40), Attwood (Joyce 58), Vui, Luatua (c), D Thomas, Hughes (Earl 40).

Replacements: Kerr, Woolmore, Chaparro, Joyce, Earl, Uren, Lloyd, Leiua.

Leicester Tigers: Tries: Liebenberg 54, Montoya 66. Cons: McPhillips 54, 68. Pens: McPhillips 5, 36, 44

Bristol Bears: Tries: Radradra 21, 60, Randall 38, Malins 57. Cons: Sheedy 21, 38, 60. Yellow: Kerr 65, Chaparro 80


Key moment

After going behind to Hanro Liebenberg's well-worked score, the Bears hit back in style with this magnificent score from Max Malins.


Pat Lam reaction


Man of the match: Siale Piutau

Physicality, flair and all-round class from the experienced Tongan at Welford Road.

Siale Piutau raced clear to send Semi Radradra over in the first half, and remained a defensive rock throughout a crucial bonus-point win.


Leicester

Tries:
Liebenberg, Montoya
Conversions
McPhillips (2)
Penalties:
McPhillips (3)
Yellow Cards:

Bristol

Tries:
Malins, Radradra (2), Randall
Conversions:
Sheedy (3)
Penalties:
Yellow Cards:
Kerr, Tetaz Chaparro
  • KO: 3PM
  • Att: 0
  • Venue: Mattioli Woods Welford Road
  • Ref: Ian Tempest

Leicester

  • Freddie Steward
  • Harry Potter
  • Matias Moroni
  • Matt Scott
  • Kini Murimurivalu
  • Johnny McPhillips
  • Ben Youngs
  • Ellis Genge
  • Tom Youngs
  • Dan Cole
  • Harry Wells
  • Cameron Henderson
  • George Martin
  • Tommy Reffell
  • Hanro Liebenberg

Substitutes

  • Julian Montoya
  • James Whitcombe
  • Joe Heyes
  • Tomas Lavanini
  • Jasper Wiese
  • Richard Wigglesworth
  • Zack Henry
  • Nemani Nadolo

Bristol

  • Max Malins
  • Piers O'Conor
  • Semi Radradra
  • Siale Piutau
  • Henry Purdy
  • Callum Sheedy
  • Harry Randall
  • Yann Thomas
  • Will Capon
  • John Afoa
  • Dave Attwood
  • Chris Vui
  • Steven Luatua
  • Daniel Thomas
  • Nathan Hughes

Substitutes

  • Jake Kerr
  • Jake Woolmore
  • Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
  • Joe Joyce
  • Ben Earl
  • Andy Uren
  • Ioan Lloyd
  • Alapati Leiua

Match Overview

Scorers

Leicester

  • McPhillips (3)
  • ,
  • Liebenberg
  • ,
  • Montoya

Bristol

  • Malins
  • ,
  • Radradra
  • ,
  • Sheedy
  • ,
  • Randall

Yellow Cards

Bristol

  • Kerr
  • ,
  • Tetaz Chaparro

Line Up

Leicester

  • Steward
  • ,
  • Potter
  • ,
  • Moroni
  • ,
  • Scott
  • ,
  • Murimurivalu
  • ,
  • McPhillips
  • ,
  • Youngs
  • ,
  • Genge
  • ,
  • Youngs
  • ,
  • Cole
  • ,
  • Wells
  • ,
  • Henderson
  • ,
  • Martin
  • ,
  • Reffell
  • ,
  • Liebenberg
  • ,
  • Montoya
  • ,
  • Heyes
  • ,
  • Lavanini
  • ,
  • Wiese
  • ,
  • Wigglesworth
  • ,
  • Nadolo

Subs not used

  • Whitcombe
  • ,
  • Henry

Bristol

  • Malins
  • ,
  • O'Conor
  • ,
  • Radradra
  • ,
  • Piutau
  • ,
  • Purdy
  • ,
  • Sheedy
  • ,
  • Randall
  • ,
  • Thomas
  • ,
  • Capon
  • ,
  • Afoa
  • ,
  • Attwood
  • ,
  • Vui
  • ,
  • Luatua
  • ,
  • Thomas
  • ,
  • Hughes
  • ,
  • Kerr
  • ,
  • Woolmore
  • ,
  • Tetaz Chaparro
  • ,
  • Joyce
  • ,
  • Earl
  • ,
  • Uren
  • ,
  • Lloyd
  • ,
  • Leiua