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Match Reaction: Bristol Bears 41-10 Leicester Tigers

Match Reaction: Bristol Bears 41-10 Leicester Tigers

Bristol Bears recorded they biggest ever win against Leicester Tigers after a 41-10 victory in Gallagher Premiership Rugby.

Harry Thacker grabbed a first half brace for the hosts against his former club, meaning its five tries in the last two matches for the hooker.

Luke Morahan and Harry Randall ran in second half tries for the hosts, who supplemented their score with 21 points from the boot of Ian Madigan at Ashton Gate.

Kyle Eastmond’s sending off after 25 minutes for the visitors would prove crucial, as they added only three points while they were down to 14 men.

Manu Tuilagi had grabbed an early try to bring the game within three points for the Tigers in the opening quarter but they were unable to slow down their opponents after the red card.

MAN OF THE MATCH

When you’ve got five tries in the space of two weeks from the front row, you have clearly made a habit of being in the right place at the right time.

Harry Thacker added to his three scores against Wasps last week with two more against Tigers – but this time he ended up on the winning side.

The hooker, who joined from Leicester this summer, will rightly grab the headlines for his two finishes.

For both tries the made sure he was on the shoulder of breaks from Alapati Leiua and Steven Luatua to be the man with open ground in front of him to touch down for the score.

The front rower is clearly making the most of the free flowing attacking rugby Pat Lam has instilled at Bristol, seemingly taking every scoring opportunity which comes his way.

Thacker didn’t just make his mark on the scoresheet, as he registered 16 tackles and 16 carries as well as 49 metres with ball in hand for the Bears.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Aussie flier Luke Morahan raised the roof at Ashton Gate with his try just after half time, where he really showed his turn of pace and ability to beat his defender.

The winger weaved around England speedster Jonny May, widely tipped as the fastest player in Eddie Jones’ squad, but still had a long way to go before touching down.

His 60-metre dash to the line left the Tigers defence in his wake as he grabbed his fourth try of the season.

WHAT THEY SAID

Bristol Bears head coach Pat Lamb said: “I’m extremely proud of everyone – the staff, the players, the whole squad.

“We talk about what we do during the week and we know the work we have been putting in. We have been unlucky with some of the results we have had and we know we are better then where we currently sit in the table. For the boys to get their reward [today] I’m pleased for them.

“The boys came out ready, we got off to a great start and scored a great try with a set piece move we have been working on.  We executed it nicely and it was the perfect person to get it to – Harry Thacker. It’s five tries in two weeks and I’m proud for Harry.

“I’m pleased for Harry and Jordan Crane, they’re ex-Leicester boys who have come here and really committed to what we are trying to do here at Bristol.”

Bristol bears captain and No. 8 Jordan Crane said: “The last three weeks we have been close but not got the win. It was important to get an 80 minute performance today and I think we got that.

“When Leicester are coming to town they’re going to be physical and challenge the boys to see where we’re at. I thought we delivered all over the park today. I thought we were the most physical team out there and it showed on the scoreboard.”

Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “No one is more embarrassed than I am. [An] absolutely appalling performance, we’re devastated and I’m devastated. It’s one of those things we probably won’t sleep until next Friday.

“I know it’s going to be absolutely brutal for all our fans today but I just hope they stay with us. We’re in a bit of hole and we need to dig ourselves out of it.”

 

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