Bristol Go Down In Pre-Season Opener
Bristol Rugby 19-34 Newport Gwent Dragons
Bristol’s opening pre-season fixture ended in a 34-19 defeat as Newport Gwent Dragons claimed the spoils at the Clifton RFC training base on Sunday.
Luke Eves and Jack O’Connell crossed for the hosts, while referee Simon Harding awarded a first half penalty try.
It was the visitors who edged in front inside five minutes when Jason Tovey split the uprights with an angled penalty goal.
The Dragons fly half extended the lead soon after when he carved an opening between two white shirts to dab down for a converted try.
Ross Rennie and Mark Cooke went close for Bristol in quick succession, before Ryan Edwards was bundled into touch just metres from the whitewash.
The home side did engineer a route back into the game on the half hour mark as referee Simon Harding awarded a penalty try following a driving lineout, while Jarvis slotted the simple conversion.
On the stroke of the interval, Rynard Landman burrowed over from close range for a converted try, moving the score to 7-17 in the Dragons’ favour.
And Jason Tovey converted his second successful penalty goal of the afternoon to give the Gwent outfit a thirteen point advantage at half-time.
Bristol hit back in the second period as Jack O’Connell marked his club debut with an unconverted try, muscling his way over from five metres.
Dragons notched a third try when Cory Hill rounded off a sublime counter-attack to skip his way through, while Rhys Jones converted.
In an end-to-end second half, Luke Eves latched onto Ben Skirving’s smart offload to keep Bristol in touch with a converted score at 19-27, before Charlie Amesbury almost capitalized on Craig Hampson’s chip ahead.
After Rhys Jones had skewed a penalty goal attempt wide, Owen Evans scythed through to touch down between the sticks for a converted try, as the Dragons sealed a 19-34 win.
Darren Hudson; Ryan Edwards, Luke Eves, Mark Cooke, Charlie Amesbury; Adrian Jarvis, Dwayne Peel (c); Jack O’Connell, Max Crumpton, James Hall, Ben Glynn, Glen Townson, Marco Mama, Ross Rennie, Ben Skirving.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Max Crumpton, 59 mins), Ben Leung (for James Hall, 59 mins), Ellis Genge (for Jack O’Connell, 63 mins), Joe Joyce (for Ben Glynn, 28 mins), Olly Robinson (for Ross Rennie, 63 mins), Craig Hampson (for Dwayne Peel, 28 mins), Luke Baldwin (for Craig Hampson, 72 mins), Callum Sheedy (for Adrian Jarvis, 72 mins), Lucas Slowik (for Luke Eves, 72 mins), Jack Wallace (for Ryan Edwards, 59 mins).
Newport Gwent Dragons:
Lee Byrne (c); Ashton Hewitt, Pat Leach, Jack Dixon, Aled Brew; Jason Tovey, Jonathan Evans; Boris Stankovich, Elliot Dee, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Rynard Landman, Andrew Coombs, Nic Cudd, Andy Powell.
Replacements: Owen Evans, T.Rhys Thomas, Dan Way, Ian Gough, Cory Hill, James Thomas, Lewis Evans, Richie Rees, Angus O’Brien, Matthew Pewtner, Tom Prydie, Connor Edwards, Barney Nightingale, Dorian Jones, Scott Matthews, Luke Garrett, Hugo Gustaffson, David Young, Scott Andrews.
Referee: Simon Harding