Bristol Show Spirit In Brickfields Win
Plymouth Albion 8 - 21 Bristol Rugby
Bristol Rugby extended their impressive record at Brickfields, overcoming Plymouth Albion 8-21 amid a torrential downpour on Saturday.
George Watkins and Redford Pennycook crossed for the visitors either side of half-time to seal a first victory away from home since early September.
Plymouth were reduced to fourteen men when Jack Andrew was sent off for violent conduct, while referee Ian Tempest brandished three yellow cards – two for the hosts (Jon Vickers and Sean Michael-Stephen) and one for Bristol (Mitch Eadie).
Despite the boggy conditions making life difficult for both sides, Bristol made the ideal start when George Watkins opened the scoring on the five-minute mark. The winger coasted over in the corner after Ruki Tipuna’s smart break from the base of a five metre scrum.
Adrian Jarvis couldn’t hit the target with a difficult conversion from the angle, and Plymouth immediately hit back with a Paul Roberts penalty goal, moving the score to 3-5.
Bristol showed plenty of initiative in the opening period, peppering the Plymouth defence with high balls and going close through Ross Johnston and Mike Tagicakibau. The visitors couldn’t find a way over the whitewash, but did extend their lead courtesy of two penalties from the boot of Adrian Jarvis.
As Liam Middleton’s men began to gain a stranglehold of proceedings, Albion hooker Jon Vickers received a yellow card. Bristol capitalized on the stroke of half time as Jarvis struck a penalty goal to give his side a 3-14 advantage.
The driving rain worsened in the second half but Bristol’s pack, muddied and sodden, continued to cause problems for Albion and forced a host of turnovers at the set-piece. Frustrations came to a head when a thirty-man brawl broke out on the touchline following an off-the-ball incident involving Mitch Eadie and Sean Michael-Stephen.
Both Eadie and Michael-Stephen were sin-binned for their efforts, while Plymouth prop Jack Andrew received a red card, reducing the hosts to thirteen men.
Bristol plundered a second try moments later, surging over from close-range after an excellent driving maul. Jarvis slotted from the angle to put the visitors 3-21 up on sixty-five minutes.
Plymouth almost found a route back into game late on when Bevan Armitage pounced on a loose ball, only to be held up over the whitewash. The home side did reduce arrears a minute from time when Rhodri McAtee stretched over, but Bristol closed out a deserved victory at Brickfields.
Henry Slade;Toby Howley-Berridge, Keni Fisilau, Bevon Armitage, Tom Bowen; Paul Roberts, Ruairi Cushion; Jack Andrew, Jon Vickers, Lloyd Fairbrother, Harrison Tovey, Rupeni Nasiga, Sam Hocking, Wayne Sprangle, Sean-Michael Stephen (c).
Replacements: Paul Rowley (for Ruairi Cushion, 72 mins), Rhodri McAtee (for Toby Howley-Berridge, 72 mins), Luke Cowan-Dickie (for Wayne Sprangle, 63 mins), David Morton, Tom Cowan-Dickie (for Jon Vickers, 72 mins), Len Ashcroft-Leigh (for Sean Michael-Stephen, 70 mins), Sam Matavesi.
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, Mike Tagicakibau; Adrian Jarvis, Ruki Tipuna; Bruce Douglas, Ross Johnston, Jason Hobson, Mariano Sambucetti, Glen Townson, Iain Grieve (c), Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Ross Johnston, 80 mins), Mark Lilley (for Bruce Douglas, 79 mins), Gaston Cortes (for Jason Hobson, 64 mins), George Biagi (for Mariano Sambucetti, 80 mins), Marco Mama (for Redford Pennycook, 72 mins), James Grindal, Tristan Roberts.
Referee: Ian Tempest