Bristol Clinch Valuable Win Over Blues
Bedford Blues 6 - 18 Bristol Rugby
Bristol Rugby delivered arguably the strongest performance of the campaign so far to overcome in-form Bedford 18-6 at Goldington Road on Saturday.
Liam Middleton’s men – who have won eleven of the last twelve games in all competitions – scored two tries courtesy of Luke Eves and Ryan Edwards.
The visitors carved out an early opening when Luke Eves broke clear after scooping up the loose ball and rampaging downfield.
The chance came to nothing and the visitors spurned a second opportunity when Jarvis failed to find the target with a penalty effort.
In a lively first period, Jake Sharp almost muscled his way through a stubborn defence, before Jarvis made amends for his earlier miss with a simple three-pointer on the quarter hour mark.
Bristol nudged further ahead with the opening try of the afternoon soon after. Fautua Otto’s long pass was collected by Mitch Eadie, who fed the on-rushing Luke Eves to fly over in the corner. Jarvis couldn’t convert from the angle, so the score remained 0-8.
Liam Middleton’s side showed discipline in defence to keep Bedford at bay and stretched their advantage on the stroke of half time, when Jarvis struck a second successful penalty goal.
Bedford reduced the arrears to 3-11 on the fifty-minute mark when replacement fly half Miles Dorrian struck a penalty goal, but Ryan Edwards skipped through several defenders to cross the whitewash for a converted try to keep Bristol in control.
James Pritchard hit back immediately to give the hosts hope at 6-18, before George Watkins was held up over the line following the impressive Marco Mama’s blistering break.
Bristol saw another gilt-edged opportunity go awry when Fautua Otto had the ball wrenched from his grasp with the tryline gaping.
The home side threw numbers forward in the dying minutes, but Middleton’s men held firm for a priceless victory at Goldington Road, cementing their growing ambitions for a place in the top four.
James Pritchard (c); James Stephenson, Ollie Dodge, Mark Atkinson, Mark Kohler; Jake Sharp, Luke Baldwin; Ricky Reeves, Neil Cochrane, Dan Seal, Mike Howard, Ben Gulliver, Gregor Gillanders, Darren Fox, Don Barrell.
Replacements: Chris Locke (for Neil Cochrane, 51 mins), Ben Cooper (for Ricky Reeves, 49 mins), Paul Tupai (for Darren Fox, 66 mins), Joe Vandermolen (for Ben Gulliver, 66 mins), Darryl Veenendaal (for Luke Baldwin, 59 mins), Myles Dorrian (for Jake Sharp, 50 mins), Brendan Burke (for Ollie Dodge, 60 mins).
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Fautua Otto, Luke Eves, Ryan Edwards; Adrian Jarvis, Ruki Tipuna (c); Kyle Traynor, Ross Johnston, Wayne Thompson, Mariano Sambucetti, Glen Townson, Marco Mama, Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Ross Johnston, 77 mins), Bruce Douglas (for Wayne Thompson, 54 mins), Ben Glynn (for Mariano Sambucetti, 54 mins), James Merriman (for Redford Pennycook, 72 mins), James Grindal (for Ruki Tipuna, 76 mins), Tristan Roberts (for Adrian Jarvis, 73 mins), Ben Mosses (for Fautua Otto, 80 mins).
Referee: Ian Tempest