Five-Try Bristol Earn Nottingham Win
Bristol Rugby 33-18 Nottingham
Bristol Rugby made it six straight wins in all competitions with a 33-18 victory over Nottingham at a bitterly cold Memorial Stadium on Sunday.
Andy Robinson’s men bagged the bonus point with a five-try display, as George Watkins (2), Tristan Roberts (2) and Ben Mosses all went over for the home side.
Nottingham enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and, after Andy Savage had gone close, Matthew Jarvis put the visitors ahead with a well-struck penalty goal.
But Bristol hit back immediately when George Watkins finished off a neat move down the blindside, collecting Marco Mama’s offload to coast in under the posts for a converted try.
In a lively first period, Jarvis saw his long-range penalty attempt ricochet off the woodwork, before Nottingham squandered a golden opportunity to go back in front.
Tom Calladine galloped clear and looked destined to score, but, with the try line gaping, the back-rower saw his pass roll harmlessly into touch.
The Green and Whites were punished for their wastefulness moments later as George Watkins intercepted a long pass in midfield to race in from halfway. Tristan Roberts stretched the advantage to 14-3 with the simple conversion.
Matthew Jarvis’ successful three-pointer kept Nottingham in touch, and the visitors closed the gap further when the impressive Tom Calladine finished off a flowing counter attack to dab down for an unconverted score.
Bristol added a third try on the half hour mark as Ben Mosses showed acceleration to squeeze between two defenders and stretch over. Roberts saw his conversion attempt sail wide, so the score remained 19-11.
The bonus point was sealed before the half-time break as Ruki Tipuna and George Watkins combined in style to put Tristan Roberts over in the corner for a sublime converted try.
The difficulty of Nottingham’s task was increased when Campese Ma’afu saw yellow before the interval following an infringement at the breakdown.
Tristan Roberts’ sublime afternoon continued when the fly half capitalized on a quickly taken penalty to fly over the whitewash. Roberts added the conversion to give his side a commanding 33-11 lead.
Alex Shaw grabbed a consolation try – converted by Matthew Jarvis - in a low key second period and, although Ryan Edwards came within inches of adding a sixth score late on, Bristol couldn’t find a route through a stubborn Nottingham defence.
Adam D’Arcy; George Watkins, Fautua Otto, Ben Mosses, Ryan Edwards; Tristan Roberts, Ruki Tipuna; Kyle Traynor, Ollie Hayes, James Hall, Glen Townson, Mark Sorenson (c), Nick Koster, James Merriman, Marco Mama.
Replacements: Ross Johnston (for Ollie Hayes, 50 mins), Bruce Douglas (for James Hall, 40 mins), Ben Skirving (for Nick Koster, 46 mins), Mitch Eadie (for Marco Mama, 64 mins), James Grindal (for Ruki Tipuna, 67 mins), Nicky Robinson (for Tristan Roberts, 50 mins), Jack Tovey (for Fautua Otto, 46 mins).
Finlay Barnham; Andy Savage, Ed Styles, Joe Munro, Tom Chapman; Matthew Jarvis, Sean Romans; Campese Ma’afu, Jon Vickers, Michael Holford, Neilus Kough, Dan Montagu, Rupert Cooper, Brent Wilson (c), Tom Calladine.
Replacements: Ryan Bower (for Michael Holford, 51 mins), Alun Walker (for Jon Vickers, 42 mins), Joe Burton (for Rupert Cooper, 46 mins), Alex Shaw (for Neilus Keogh, 62 mins), Harrison Lee-Everton (for Sean Romans, 77 mins), Finlay Barnham, Alfie Malloy (for Tom Chapman, 79 mins).
Referee: Matthew Carley