Saturday, November 27News That Matters

Bristol 39-7 Gloucester: Premiership leaders’ display just the ticket for returning thousands

They played Bonkers during half-time here at Ashton Gate, which summed up this game as Bristol welcomed back a few thousand fans with a thrills-and-spills victory on Monday night.

Pat Lam’s Premiership leaders took another step towards claiming a home semi-final with an emphatic win, but the scoreline didn’t reflect a crazy contest.

Bristol eventually scored five tries, but could have had a dozen or more. They were gloriously creative, but lacked a clinical streak as they toiled to beat a Gloucester side who had to play with 14 men for 64 minutes.

Premiership leaders Bristol welcomed back thousands of fans in their 39-7 win over Gloucester

Premiership leaders Bristol welcomed back thousands of fans in their 39-7 win over Gloucester

Premiership leaders Bristol welcomed back thousands of fans in their 39-7 win over Gloucester

In the weeks ahead, Bristol will want to be more ruthless, but they were just content to savour a noisy night, after months of playing in silence.

Man of the match Callum Sheedy said: ‘It was unbelievable. You can’t quite realise how much you miss fans until they are here. It was amazing. We weren’t perfect and were far from clinical, but we are so happy to be back with 3,000 fans which felt like 30,000.’

Gloucester lock Matias Alemanno was sent off for a dangerous tackle on home captain Steven Luatua, but the Bears struggled to capitalise on their numerical advantage.

Charles Piutau crossed for one of the five tries for Bristol before they earned a late bonus point

Charles Piutau crossed for one of the five tries for Bristol before they earned a late bonus point

Charles Piutau crossed for one of the five tries for Bristol before they earned a late bonus point

England prop Kyle Sinckler had a try ruled out in the 13th minute, before Jake Kerr, Andy Uren and Semi Radradra all went close but were denied.

Just before the half-hour, Bristol did actually claim a try, as Max Malins touched down, before Sheedy had one scrubbed off for a forward pass. 

Santiago Carreras struck in the corner for Gloucester, and Bristol’s wasteful streak continued with a howler by Charles Piutau, who allowed Kyle Moyle to knock the ball from his hand as he was about to score.

After the break, Alapati Leiua had a try ruled out, and Charles Piutau went over from a counter-attack but was denied a second due to a knock-on in the build-up. 

There appeared to be a danger that the bonus point would elude Bristol, but Ben Earl, Nathan Hughes and Radradra all scored in the closing stages.

Gloucester played with 14 men for most of the match but Bristol were surprisingly wasteful

Gloucester played with 14 men for most of the match but Bristol were surprisingly wasteful

Gloucester played with 14 men for most of the match but Bristol were surprisingly wasteful

MERCILESS SARACENS CRUSH AMPTHILL 

WILL KELLEHER at the StoneX Stadium

Owen Farrell kicked 12 points as Saracens finally moved into the Championship play-off spots with a 11-try win over semi-professional Ampthill in front of 2,000 fans.

Lions Farrell, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Maro Itoje and Elliot Daly all started but were taken off in the second half. 

George scored a try and Nick Tompkins, Sean Maitland, Tom Woolstencroft and Ali Crossdale took two each as Elliot Obatoyinbo and Dom Morris added the others.

Ampthill scored twice, through Sydney Blackmore and Spencer Sutherland. Sarries go second with two regular season matches left.

Owen Farrell kicked 12 points as Saracens moved into the play-off spots by beating Ampthill

Owen Farrell kicked 12 points as Saracens moved into the play-off spots by beating Ampthill

Owen Farrell kicked 12 points as Saracens moved into the play-off spots by beating Ampthill