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Will Carpenter


Posted Monday, May 6th 2019

Stat attack: Bristol Bears 20-20 Sale Sharks

Piutau back with a bang, Bears dominate possession and Vui rules the skies - check out the best of the match stats from Friday night's draw with Sale Sharks.

Back with a bang

Charles Piutau's long-awaited return from injury certainly didn't disappoint, with the All Black flyer delivering a typically eye-catching display at Ashton Gate on Friday night.

Piutau was ruled out for eight weeks with a calf injury sustained at Northampton Saints in early March, but made his presence known against Sale Sharks.

It took the full back just 29 minutes to make his mark with a try, powering over from close range after collecting Callum Sheedy's offload. And he was at it again early in the second half, providing the assists for Alapati Leiua's try.

Piutau finished with 13 carries, five defenders beaten, two clean breaks, one try, one assist and 102 metres made on his return to Gallagher Premiership action.



The lion's share

In a cagey, attritional battle, Bristol Bears enjoyed the lion's share of both possession and territory, but were unable to turn that into a win, being forced to settle for a 20-20 draw following a crazy finale.

Pat Lam's side had 64% territory and nearly double the time in possession (21 minutes, 39 seconds versus 12 minutes 59 seconds), but the sides still finished all square on the night.

Sky high

Bristol's set-piece has functioned superbly this season and did so again on Friday night, especially at the lineout.

Pat Lam's side won 22 out of 23 lineouts on the night, with Chris Vui claiming 10 takes - more than the whole team combined. 

Three of these lineouts were taken quickly, while the one failure was a minor overthrow early in the game.