- Gallagher Premiership
- Saturday, March 6th 2021
Will Carpenter reports from Sixways
Report: Worcester Warriors 23-24 Bristol Bears
Saturday, March 6th 2021
A blistering hat-trick from Siva Naulago fired the Bears to a ninth Gallagher Premiership win of the season, as Pat Lam’s men overcame a second half burst from Worcester to claim all five points at Sixways.
The fleet-footed winger bagged a first-half double to add to Andy Uren’s try on the stroke of half time, before a Worcester fight back turned the tables midway through the second period.
Francois Venter went over and Billy Searle added two penalties to edge the hosts into a six-point lead, before Naulago scorched over for his third seven minutes from time, with Sheedy’s touchline conversion snatching victory for the Bears.
The Bears were into their stride early on at Sixways, as a sharp set-piece play saw Sheedy release Naulago with a perfectly floated pass into the winger's path, and there was no stopping the Fijian from 25 metres.
The cross-code wing grabbed a second on the half-hour mark, owing plenty to the work of Adeolokun, whose burst down the right put his side on the front foot, and Sheedy, whose pinpoint kick located Naulago in acres of space.
But the Warriors quickly pegged the Bears back, with Humphreys collecting Searle’s kick to touch down for a converted try in the left-hand corner.
It was all-square shortly after, as Searle landed a long-range penalty following an offside infringement.
But Lam’s men had the final say of the half with a third try on 40 minutes – patient play inside the Warriors 22 set the platform for Uren to snipe and power his way to the line, with Sheedy converting for a seven-point lead.
But that lead evaporated into thin air early in the second period, as two Searle penalties and a superb score from Francois Venter fired the hosts into a 23-17 lead.
Warriors squandered a fine opportunity to put the game to bed, only for Shillcock to spill the ball with a clear path to the line – it would prove costly.
With seven minutes to play, the Bears unleashed another razor-sharp set-piece attack, and when Sheedy fed Naulago, the winger pinned his ears back to race in for an outstanding hat-trick and seal a hard-fought bonus-point win.
Worcester Warriors: David; Ashton, Morris, Venter, Humphreys; Shillcock, Hougaard; Waller, Cutting, Schonert, A Kitchener, Clegg, Batley, Kvesic (c), van Velze.
Replacements: Miller, Thomas, Palframan, Dodd, du Preez, Heaney, Searle, Beck.
Bristol Bears: Purdy; Adeolokun, O'Conor, Leiua (Fricker 56), Naulago; Sheedy, Uren; Woolmore, Capon, Lahiff (Y Thomas 63), Attwood (Holmes 53), Joyce, Vui, Harding (Heenan 58), Luatua (c).
Replacements: Kloska, Thomas, Afoa, Holmes, Heenan, Kessell, Eden, Fricker.
Worcester Warriors: Tries: Humphreys 31, Venter 49. Cons: Shillcock 31, Searle 46. Pens: Searle 35, 46, 53
Bristol Bears: Tries: Naulago 6, 29, 73, Uren 40. Cons: Sheedy 40, 73
An impressive first-half showing saw the two-try Bears lead 17-10 at the interval, before the Warriors fought back to edge in front - a lead they held until the 74th minute.
Enter Siva Naulago. With two tries already under his belt, the flying wing scorched through the Warriors defence to power over for his hat-trick try, with Sheedy's conversion sealing the win for the Bears.
Pat Lam reaction
"It's a crucial win - real credit to the guys."— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) March 6, 2021
Pat Lam praises character in battling win 👇 pic.twitter.com/sa6Njzblkm
Man of the match: Siva Naulago
120 metres made, nine carries, five defenders beaten, four clean breaks and a sensational hat-trick - it was the Siva Naulago show at Sixways.
The wing was the main man for the Bears as they battled to a bonus-point win, crossing for the decisive try seven minutes from time.
Social media reaction
He’s just electric ⚡️ ⚡️ ⚡️ @r_naulago with his hat trick score for @BristolBears and we’re in for a breath-taking conclusion at Sixways 😲— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) March 6, 2021
Live blog ➡️ https://t.co/DNcXTkx1ff #GallagherPrem #WORvBRI https://t.co/O8Go88s7mf
- Venter, Humphreys
- Shillcock, Searle
- Searle (3)
- Yellow Cards:
- Naulago (3), Uren
- Sheedy (2)
- Yellow Cards: