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Match Reaction: Bristol Bears 21-13 Gloucester Rugby

Match Reaction: Bristol Bears 21-13 Gloucester Rugby

Bristol Bears proved too strong for Gloucester Rugby as a perfect set piece display enabled the Ashton Gate side to claim the spoils in the West Country derby.

The win hands the Bears a crucial lifeline in the Premiership Rugby Cup following their first-round loss, but that will long be forgotten after second half tries from Dan Thomas and Jake Heenan settled the tie.

Nick Haining’s solo effort gave Pat Lam’s side the advantage heading into half-time with little try scoring action on show, before Owen Williams made it a contest from the tee.

But Bristol had too much power in their pack and it allowed Thomas and Heenan to get over the line from lineouts.
Gloucester rallied late on with a penalty try as Bristol had two players sinbinned, but Callum Sheedy’s three conversions ensured the spoils went to Pat Lam’s side.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Ryan Edwards performed admirably with an astute display from the wing, creating the opening for the first try and almost adding one for himself with a lightning quick interception and breakaway.

TRY OF THE MATCH

It looked for a while as though Nick Haining’s first half try would be the only score of the match, but it would have been worthy of settling any tie.

Edwards crafted the opening with a powerful breakaway and Haining sniped from the ruck to go over the whitewash.

WHAT THEY SAID

Bristol Bears head coach Pat Lam said: “When we lost to Worcester Warriors it was the best thing for us.

“We have all been through a bit of adversity, so now we need some growth going on in our games.

“The next four or five weeks is like a mini pre-season to give everyone an opportunity when we get back to the Premiership.”

Gloucester Rugby’s head of academy Richard Whiffin said: “We talked at half-time about little ways we could get ourselves back in the game and we did have a little bit more, but we forced the ball in the second half.

“To be fair to Bristol they had that little bit more and the edge on us up front and they managed to sneak away.

“Their set pieces gave them a little bit of strength. It was a good effort from the boys and it was good to see a couple of them come back from injury. We go again.”

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