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Will Carpenter


Posted Sunday, December 15th 2019

Stat attack: Stade Francais 16-18 Bristol Bears

Legally blonde, Hughes on the charge and Bears' late shows. Check out the best of the match stats from Saturday's European Challenge Cup victory over Stade Francais in Paris.

Legally blonde

Toby Fricker's man of the match performance in Paris was a continuation of his impressive form throughout the Challenge Cup - in fact, Saturday's game was the first time in the competition this season that he has failed to score.

But Fricker impressed in many other ways against Stade Francais, starring with a man of the match performance from the left wing. The former Ebbw Vale man made 63 metres, beat five defenders and made 100% of his tackles in a typically physical display.

His back three partner, Mat Protheroe also caught the eye with ball in hand and was the game's leading runner, with 149 metres from 13 carries. The electric full back made four clean breaks throughout an eye-catching performance for the young flyer.

Force of nature

Nathan Hughes has rarely put a foot wrong since his arrival in the West Country - and Stade were made to feel the full force of the barnstorming number eight on Saturday night.

The England international made a whopping 20 carries, beating six defenders and making 54 metres, including two clean breaks throughout another sensational showing in Bristol colours. 

The late, late show

The Bears are making a habit of striking in the closing stages, and have already earned 13 league/pool points in the Gallagher Premiership and the Challenge Cup from tries in the final 15 minutes of games. 

vs Exeter Chiefs | Gallagher Premiership | Dan Thomas try - 80 mins
vs Harlequins | Gallagher Premiership | Jake Heenan try - 71 mins (losing BP)
vs Sale Sharks | Gallagher Premiership | Ioan Lloyd try - 77 mins 
vs Brive | Challenge Cup | Will Capon try - 75 mins (BP)
vs Stade Francais | Challenge Cup | Toby Fricker try - 80 mins (BP try)
vs Stade Francais | Challenge Cup | Harry Thacker try - 78 mins

It's a statistic that highlights the fitness, determination and patience of the current Bristol squad and one that will stand them in good stead throughout the campaign.