Fixtures - Top Bar

Bristol Rugby toast return to Aviva Premiership

CallumSheedy16SB1005

After a seven-year absence, and three Championship finals in the last three years, Bristol Rugby finally hauled themselves back into Aviva Premiership Rugby on Wednesday evening – although it was not all plain sailing.

A last-gasp try gave the Knights a 34-32 win on the night after an incredible second-half comeback but they were unable to overturn the 15-point first-leg deficit, with the final aggregate score 60-47.

A record crowd of over 16,000 enjoyed the clash at Ashton Gate, showing Bristol can expect some massive attendances in Aviva Premiership Rugby when the stadium expansion is completed over the summer.

A stunning Doncaster fightback – with tries from Paul Jarvis, Tyson Lewis and Ollie Stedman – saw the Knights return from 25-10 down to lead 27-25.

James Philips’ 73rd-minute try settled Bristol nerves but there was still time for Knights replacement Latu Makaafi to give the visitors victory on the night.

But it was Bristol who were celebrating a deserved return to the top table of English rugby at the final whistle, having topped the Championship standings again this season, and head coach Andy Robinson dedicated the result to the locals.

Robinson: “When you see the support we had, the atmosphere, theatre and drama created at Ashton Gate, we are looking forward to getting back into the Aviva Premiership.

“I had total faith in what we had done, the lead we had built up was huge for us.

“I reflected a lot last year on the loss and I looked at the number of times I had won in the last minute, and it evens out.

“I am slightly disappointed to lose the game, we were a bit sloppy at the end. But everyone understood that last five minutes, all that mattered was that we were going up.

“It’s positive to add to the collection of medals, I am really pleased about what. I am really pleased for Bristol Rugby Club and Bristol people.

“I am just doing my job and it’s important. I am very passionate about this club, for me the last three years have been very enjoyable.”

While both Will Cliff and Phillips crossed the whitewash for Bristol, the real star of the show was fly-half Callum Sheedy, whose kicking masterclass saw him notch up 22 points on the night.

The 20-year-old has been the breakthrough star for Robinson’s side in recent weeks having not started a league match until the final day of the regular season.

From almost nowhere he has become the figurehead in Bristol’s promotion, keeping the fit-again Adrian Jarvis and Gavin Henson out of the side, and Matthew Morgan on the bench, and he admits he now cannot wait to test himself at the highest level.

He said: “It’s all a bit of a shock to me (playing a key role) if you had said this to me six weeks ago I would have laughed.  

“It’s obviously a nice feeling when the coaches back you but it’s a 50-man squad, not a one-man effort.

“We knew we had to build a score and the forwards were outstanding; they got us in the positions to kick the penalties.

“It’s really exciting but we go back to day one in pre-season and start afresh. It’s all happened pretty quickly, I look forward to the next few weeks to reflect on our achievements.”
 
Bristol Rugby: Arscott; Wallace, Tovey (Morgan 29), Mosses, Lemi; Sheedy, Cliff (Roberts 79); O'Connell (Traynor 41), McMillan (Brooker 50), Perenise (Cortes 51), Evans, Glynn, Mama, Lam (Robinson 46), Phillips
Yellow card: Mosses (60-70)
 
Doncaster Knights: Jarvis; Bulumakau, Clark, Hurrell, Lewis; Cusack (Field 47), Heaney; List (Sproston 68), Hunter (Veikoso 55), Quigley (John 58), Challinor, Phelan (Young 51), Shaw (Makaafi 51), Hills, Stedman
Yellow card: List (54-64)
 
Bristol Rugby
Tries: Cliff, Phillips
Conversions: Sheedy 2
Penalties: Sheedy 6
 
Doncaster Knights
Tries: Hurrell, Jarvis, Lewis, Stedman, Makaafi
Conversions: Cusack, Heaney, Flockhart
Penalties: Cusack
 
Referee: M Carley
Attendance: 16,084

Latest News

More to come from Leicester Tigers, warns Dom Barrow

Leicester Tigers have recorded back-to-back bonus-point victories but lock Dom Barrow has issued a warning to the rest of Aviva…

dombarrow1111sb17

Jimmy Gopperth: Youthful experience can help Wasps thrive in key period

Wasps may have suffered a first Aviva Premiership Rugby loss since November last weekend but with a hungry, young squad…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Redcar and Keswick shine at Newcastle Falcons’ Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Redcar Rugby Club U12s team captain Will Lund will be part of May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham after…

lrpc_newcastlesb0816redcar

Old Patesians and Tewkesbury secure spots at Twickenham after Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Wyatt Dundas and his Old Patesians RFC U12s team have secured a spot as part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby…

lrpc_gloucester_md_5976oldpats

Northampton Saints to receive investment from majority shareholders

Northampton Saints plc, the parent company of Northampton Saints, has today announced a significant cash injection into the Aviva Premiership…

Northampton Saints celebrate

RFU Disciplinary: Francois Louw and Kahn Fotuali’i

Francois Louw and Kahn Fotuali’i of Bath Rugby will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel in Bristol on Tuesday 21…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors sign Jersey prop Simon Kerrod

Warriors have captured the signing of Jersey Reds tighthead prop Simon Kerrod. The 24-year-old, who is considered to be a…

Simon Kerrod

England Rugby squad update

28 players assembled at Pennyhill Park on Monday evening to train for Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations game against Italy at…

Mako Vunipola

New Technology and Strategy film launched as part of Rugby Change Series

Global technology company, Ricoh today launches the fourth film in their Rugby Change Series; which identifies and analyses the major…

Ricoh Technology and Strategy

James Short full of praise for Exeter Chiefs pack

Hat-trick hero James Short praised the contribution of the Exeter Chiefs pack as they brushed aside the attentions of Worcester…

James Short

Steve Gorvett to step down as Bristol Rugby CEO

Steve Gorvett has decided to step down as Chief-Executive at the end of the 2016/17 campaign. Mark Tainton has been…

Steve Gorvett

Gloucester Rugby statement on supporter behaviour at Saracens game

Gloucester Rugby today issued the following statement in relation to an incident following the Saracens game at Kingsholm on Friday…

Kingsholm

Premiership Rugby backs #LiftTheWeight campaign

Premiership Rugby is proud to support #LiftTheWeight a new campaign from The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) that aims to help…

PremRugbyBalls-WP

David Ewers eager to get back fit and firing for Exeter Chiefs

David Ewers may be tipped for an England call-up in the near future but the flanker believes holding down a starting…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Newcastle Falcons sign Josh and Joel Matavesi

Newcastle Falcons’ ambitious recruitment plans for the 2017-18 season have advanced with the news that Fijian international Josh Matavesi and…

Josh Matavesi