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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Sunday, November 11th 2018

Report: Wasps 19-30 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears secured a first away win of the season at the Ricoh Arena, as Ryan Edwards’ brace and 15 points from the boot of Callum Sheedy fired them to a 30-19 victory over Wasps in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Edwards touched down in both halves, either side of Shaun Malton’s 45th-minute score, as Pat Lam’s side made it back-to-back cup wins ahead of next weekend’s return to Gallagher Premiership action at Ashton Gate.

The first of Edwards’ double cancelled out Josh Bassett’s 16th-minute opener to send the sides into half-time all-square at 13-13.

But it was first blood to Bristol after the break, as Malton rumbled over from a driving lineout with Sheedy converting from out wide.

Lima Sopoaga – who finished with an unblemished 14-point haul from the kicking tee – added two penalties to make it a one-point game with 11 minutes remaining.

But a third Sheedy penalty and a fine second from Edwards rounded off proceedings late on, ensuring the points would be heading back down the M5.


What happened?

Following an impeccably observed minutes’ silence on Armistice Day, Callum Sheedy opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty in the pouring Coventry rain.

Wasps hit back, with Sopoaga’s first penalty of the afternoon levelling the scores, before the All Black fly-half orchestrated the game’s opening try with a perfectly-weighted kick into the grateful arms of Josh Bassett in the left-hand corner.

The opening 20 minutes had been mostly dominated by the home side, but Bristol burst into life with their first try of the match on 24 minutes, as Luatua and O’Conor combined to send Edwards under the posts.

Sopoaga nudged Wasps back into the lead after Piutau was penalised for holding on in centre field, but Sheedy replied in kind nine minutes before the interval to level the scores once again.

Bristol hit their stride early in the second-half and rewarded for a fine driving lineout when Malton crashed over under a melee of bodies.

Ryan Edwards on his way to the try line (JMPUK).

Sheedy nailed tough conversion from wide out, before Sopoaga closed the gap to four points with a 40-metre penalty.

The Wasps fly-half was on target again 19 minutes later to set up a nervy finale at the Ricoh Arena, with Sheedy following suit soon after to give the visitors an inch of breathing space heading into the closing stages.

But Edwards put Bristol minds at rest three minutes from time, collecting a wonderful offload from O’Conor to dot down in the corner, with Sheedy’s conversion all but sealing the win.

Wasps came close to earning a losing bonus-point when Josh Bassett’s try was ruled out by the TMO, but that turned out to be the final action of an impressive away-day performance from Pat Lam’s men.


The teams:

Bristol Bears: C Piutau (Bedlow 55); Morahan, O’Conor, Hurrell (Eden 61), Edwards; Sheedy (co-capt), Uren (Randall 61); Thomas (Woolmore 48), Malton (Fenton-Wells 63), Afoa (Thiede 44), Holmes, Muldowney (Joyce 59), Luatua (co-capt), Thomas, Crane (Smith 46). Replacements: Fenton-Wells, Woolmore, Thiede, Joyce, Smith, Randall, Eden, Bedlow.

Wasps: Miller (c), Watson, Neal, Lovobalavu, Bassett, Sopoaga, Simpson; McIntyre, Cruse, Cooper-Woolley, Matthews, Morris, Willis.  Replacements: Taylor, Harris, Rowlands, Atkinson, Hampson, Searle, Le Bourgeois.

Bristol Bears: Tries: Edwards 24, Malton 45, Edwards 77. Cons: 24, 45, 77. Pens: Sheedy 2, 31, 74.

Wasps: Tries: Bassett 16. Cons: Sopoaga 16. Pens: Sopoaga 7, 28, 48, 69.


Key moment:

After an evenly matched first-half, it was first-blood to Bristol after the break as Shaun Malton touched down at the tail of a powerful driving lineout, with Callum Sheedy landing a touchline conversion.

It gave Bristol a seven-point lead - one they would not relinquish - on the way to a much-needed away win. 


Man of the match: Piers O'Conor

In a game that featured a number of impressive individual performance, it was Piers O'Conor who was named man of the match by the BT Sport commentary team.

The former Wasps man started the game at outside centre before moving to full back in the second half, and was instrumental in Ryan Edwards' brace at the Ricoh Arena, providing the final pass on both occasions. 

Playmaker. 


Photo of the match:

Bristol celebrate Ryan Edwards' second try (JMPUK).

Social media posts of the match:


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