- Gallagher Premiership
- Saturday, April 17th 2021
- Kingston Park
Will Carpenter reports from Kingston Park
Report: Newcastle Falcons 17-34 Bristol Bears
Sunday, April 18th 2021
Bristol Bears extended their unbeaten run in the Gallagher Premiership to a record eight games after fighting back from 10-0 down to earn an impressive bonus-point win at Kingston Park.
After Adam Brocklebank’s 12th-minute yellow card for a nasty shoulder charge on Callum Sheedy, who was forced from the field shortly after, it was the Falcons who had the better of the sin-bin period, as Micky Young’s interception try and a Toby Flood penalty fired the hosts in front.
But the Bears hit back with three tries in 10 minutes, courtesy of Jake Heenan, man of the match, Max Malins and Luke Morahan on the stroke of half time, to take a nine-point lead into the break.
Ioan Lloyd landed a penalty and Ben Earl sliced through the Falcons defence to seal the bonus point, as the Bears turned the screw early in the second period.
Niyi Adeolokun then saw a try ruled out by the TMO, but Malins latched on to Connon’s chip to cruise in for a second and cap another fine away display from the table-topping Bears.
In a scrappy opening period, the first real action of the afternoon saw Brocklebank sent to the sin bin for a very late shoulder charge on Callum Sheedy. The Wales number 10 left the action to be replaced by Ioan Lloyd, but at the other end, Falcons numerical disadvantage didn’t stop them from opening the scoring through scrum half Young, picking off Earl’s floated to pass to canter in.
Flood slotted a penalty from under the sticks as Falcons dominated the sin-bin period on the scoreboard, but when they returned to a full allocation, the Bears hit back through Heenan, finishing off a trademark attack from deep after Earl had carved an opening.
It was two tries in as many minutes when Siale Piutau’s one-handed offload found a marauding Malins in space, and the England international’s slick dummy saw him waltz in under the posts.
The game had become breathless, and the Bears began to relish the wide-open spaces they were being afforded. Morahan was the beneficiary of a third attack down the right-hand side, stepping out of one tackle and hitting the accelerator to race in for try number three and a nine-point half-time lead.
Lloyd had failed to convert Morahan’s try but the youngster was on target 12 minutes into the second half, landing an angled penalty to extend his side’s lead.
Pat Lam’s Bears had scored 32 first phase tries in all competitions before today and they made it 33 just before the hour mark, as Capon rolled out of a well-worked lineout to feed Earl on the angle for the bonus-point try.
Adeolokun thought he had scored a fifth following Siale Piutau’s scything break downfield, only for the TMO to spot a knock-on from Malins in the build-up. But the full back made amends eight minutes from time with his second of the afternoon, as he latched on to Connon’s speculative chip ahead to cruise in from 35 metres, with Lloyd adding the extras.
Kyle Cooper grabbed a late consolation for Dean Richards’ men, but it was the Bears who took the spoils to restore their 12-point lead at the top of the Gallagher Premiership ahead of a mouth-watering meeting with the reigning champions on Friday night.
Newcastle Falcons: Penny; Vuna, Wacokecoke, Lucock, Stevenson; Flood, Young, Brocklebank, McGuigan, Mulipola, Peterson, Robinson, Welch, Wilson (c), Chick.
Replacements: Blamire, Cooper, Ah You, Fuser, Van der Walt, Schreuder, Connon, Graham.
Bristol Bears: Malins; Morahan, O'Conor, S Piutau (cc) (Leiua 65), Adeolokun; Sheedy (Lloyd 14), Uren (Kessell 72); Y Thomas (Woolmore 65), Capon (Kloska 72), Afoa (Lahiff 65), Joyce (Holmes 62), Vui (D Thomas 75), Harding, Earl, Heenan (cc).
Replacements: Kloska, Woolmore, Lahiff, Holmes, D Thomas, Kessell, Lloyd, Leiua.
Newcastle Falcons: Tries: Young 16, Cooper 79. Cons: Flood 16, 79. Pens: Flood 24. Yellow: Brocklebank 12
Bristol Bears: Tries: Heenan 28, Malins 31, 72, Morahan 39, Earl 56. Cons: Lloyd 28, 31, 72. Pens: Sheedy 52
Despite finding themselves 10 points down inside the opening quarter, Pat Lam's Bears fought back with two tries in three minutes to turn the tables, but it was Luke Morahan's score on the stroke of half-time that opened up some breathing space for the visitors and sent them on their way to a bonus-point win at Kingston Park.
Pat Lam reaction
Man of the match: Max Malins
Back from international duty and straight into the swing of things.
Max Malins' first club start of 2021 didn't disappoint, as the two-try full back dazzled in the North East sunshine.
Malins topped the metres chart with 139 from 11 carries, with a try in either half capping a sensational display.
- Young, Cooper
- Flood (2)
- Yellow Cards:
- Malins (2), Morahan, Earl, Heenan
- Lloyd (3)
- Yellow Cards: