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REPORT: Pau 18-28 Bristol Rugby

Match Report

Friday, December 16th 2016

European Rugby Challenge Cup

Pau 18 - 28 Bristol Rugby*

HT 18-14

Daubagna, Vatubua Tries Wallace, Varndell (3)
Daubagna Conversions Woodward (2), Jarvis (2)
Daubagna (2) Penalties


Att: 8373

Venue: Stade du Hameau

Ref: Lloyd Linton



  • 1 Julien Jacquot
  • 2 Lucas Rey
  • 3 Sylvain Charlet
  • 4 Masalosalo Tutaia
  • 5 Daniel Mark Ramsay
  • 6 Benjamin Sean Cecil Mowen
  • 7 Sean Dougall
  • 8 Patrick Butler
  • 9 Thibault Daubagna
  • 10 Brandon Fajardo
  • 11 Bastien Pourailly
  • 12 Jale Kaikadavu Vatubua
  • 13 Julien Fumat
  • 14 Marvin Lestremau
  • 15 Charly Gilbert Malie


  • 16 Quentin Lespiaucq-Brettes
  • 17 Geoffrey Moise
  • 18 Matthew Martin Joseph Tierney
  • 19 Fabrice Metz
  • 20 Giovanni Habel Kueffner-Mulitalo
  • 21 Julien Tomas
  • 22 Pierre Dupouy
  • 23 Romain Buros

Bristol Rugby

  • 1 Ryan John Bevington
  • 2 Robert Andrew Hawkins
  • 3 Rodrigo Gaston Cortes
  • 4 James Montague Phillips
  • 5 Benjamin Edward Glynn
  • 6 Mitchell William Eadie
  • 7 Jonathan Alexander T. Fisher
  • 8 Jordan Stephen Crane
  • 9 William Peter Samuel Cliff
  • 10 Billy George Searle
  • 11 Jack Edward Wallace
  • 12 William Harry Hurrell
  • 13 Thretton Davis Palamo
  • 14 Thomas William Varndell
  • 15 Jason Christopher Woodward


  • 16 Max Christopher Crumpton
  • 17 Jack James O'Connell
  • 18 Jamal Michael Ford-Robinson
  • 19 Giorgi Nemsadze
  • 20 Oliver James Robinson
  • 21 Rhodri Williams
  • 22 Adrian Thomas Jarvis
  • 23 Jack Terence Tovey

Tom Varndell scored a hat-trick as Bristol battled to a 28-18 bonus point victory over Pau at Stade du Hameau on Friday night.

The winger crossed on the stroke of half time before adding a second half brace, after Jack Wallace had dotted down early on. Jason Woodward (2), Adrian Jarvis and Billy Searle added the conversions to complete a second successive bonus point win for Mark Tainton's side. 

What happened?

Thibault Daubagna fired Pau into an early lead courtesy of a penalty from under the posts, but Bristol responded in positive fashion with the first try of the evening.

After Billy Searle’s pinpoint kick had forced the hosts back into their own 22, Ben Glynn picked off the Pau lineout and three phases later, Palamo’s pass sent Wallace over in the corner.

Woodward’s conversion gave Bristol a 7-3 lead, but it didn’t last long as Pau scrum half Thibault Daubagna scooped up a loose ball on half way before scooting over for a breakaway try.

The scrum half added the extras from in front, but was wide two minutes later after Jale Vatubua had caught the Bristol defence napping with a quickly taken penalty five metres from the line.

WHERE'S WALLY: Jack Wallace and Billy Searle celebrate the winger's first half score (Photo: JMP UK). 

Trailing 15-7 after 20 minutes, Jason Woodward then squandered a chance to reduce the deficit when his penalty from 35 metres drifted wide - but there was no such mistake from Daubagna, who fired over his second three-pointer of the night, after Searle had been penalised for a high tackle, to open up an eleven-point lead for the home side.

Bristol were enjoying long periods of possession with slick handling on the left-hand side freeing up Woodward. The full back ghosted through a hole in the Pau defence before opting for the chip ahead, but his kick was gathered and the hosts kicked clear.

The New Zealander then appeared to lose his footing when attempting a second penalty kick at goal after another period of Bristol possession, with the ball rebounding off the post and to safety.

But Woodward soon made amends with a superb assist for Bristol’s second try on the stroke of half time, breaking from deep before feeding Varndell for a 60-metre run-in down the touchline. Searle’s conversion was on target and Bristol trailed 18-14 at the break.

HAT-TRICK HERO: Tom Varndell goes over for the first of three tries on the night (Photo: JMP UK). 

Rob Hawkins was sent to the sin-bin in a feisty opening to the second half and minutes before his return to the action, Pau were dealt a double blow by yellow cards for Romain Buros and Matthew Tierney in the space of three minutes.

With Bristol back to a full allocation, the visitors took full advantage with a third try of the evening as Varndell raced on to Jarvis’ clever chip ahead to coast over untouched. The replacement fly half added the conversion to give Bristol a 21-18 lead.

Bristol’s second successive try bonus point arrived eight minutes from time when a storming break from Will Hurrell saw the centre feed Varndell for a fine hat-trick, with Jarvis’ conversion making it 28-18.

Pau looked to mount a late fightback, but time was very much against them and a knock-on on halfway saw referee Lloyd Linton bring an end to proceedings as Bristol secured a second successive win in the European Challenge Cup.

Key moment:

Tom Varndell's try on the stroke of half time reduced Bristol's deficit to just four points and set them up for storming second half performance.

Photo of the match:

 J'ADORE: Mitch Eadie shows his delight at a second successive victory (Photo: JMP UK). 

Man of the match: Tom Varndell

A quite brilliant hat-trick from Tom Varndell, who last week became the leading try-scorer in European Challenge Cup history. The winger was at his flying best for Bristol, with his first try - a 60 metre effort - a clear highlight of the evening.

Social media post of the day:

The teams:

Bristol Rugby: Jason Woodward; Tom Varndell, Thretton Palamo, Will Hurrell, Jack Wallace (Tovey 74); Billy Searle (Jarvis 51), Will Cliff (Williams 72); Ryan Bevington (O’Connell 69), Rob Hawkins, Gaston Cortes (Ford-Robinson 46), James Phillips, Ben Glynn, Mitch Eadie, Jon Fisher (Robinson 11), Jordan Crane (c) (Nemsadze 21).

Replacements: Max Crumpton, Jack O’Connell, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Giorgi Nemsadze, Olly Robinson, Rhodri Williams, Adrian Jarvis, Jack Tovey.

Pau: Charly Malié, Marvin Lestremau (Buros 49), Julien Fumat, Jale Vatubua, Pourailly, Brandon Fajardo, Thibault Daubagna; Sean Dougall, Paddy Butler (cap), Ben Mowen, Daniel Ramsay (Metz 49), Masalosalo Tutaia, Sylvain Charlet, Lucas Rey (Tierney 51), Julien Jacquot (Moise 51).

Replacements: Matthew Tierney, Geoffrey Moïse, Quentin Lespiaucq, Fabrice Metz, Giovanni Habel Kuffner, Julien Tomas, Romain Buros, Pierre Dupouy.

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