Bristol Clinch Bonus Point At Brewery Field
Bridgend Ravens 8 - 32 Bristol Rugby
Bristol Rugby continued their 100% record in Pool 1 of the B&I Cup with a 8-32 defeat of Bridgend at Riverside Hardware Brewery Field on Saturday.
Liam Middleton’s men scored four tries in an assured display, with Alafoti Faosiliva, George Watkins and Matt Williams (2) crossing for the visitors.
Referee Kieran Barry brandished four yellow cards in the second half, with Bristol’s Gaston Cortes, Rhys Lawrence and Jack Tovey, as well as Ravens scrum half Tom Habberfield getting sin-binned.
Following a scrappy opening period, Bristol took the lead with a well-worked driving lineout. Continuing his rich vein of try-scoring form, Alafoti Faosiliva was on hand to power over from close range. Adrian Jarvis slotted the conversion as the visitors went 0-7 ahead.
Bridgend notched their first points of the afternoon soon after, courtesy of the boot of Jamie Murphy. The fly-half struck from twenty metres to reduce arrears to 3-7 on the quarter hour mark.
In an attritional first half, Adrian Jarvis kept the scoreboard ticking over with two penalty goals, before Luke Eves almost created an opportunity out of nothing with a chip-and-chase after Marco Mama’s solo break.
Despite plenty of tidy phases, Bristol couldn’t find a way through a stubborn home defence before the break, going in at the interval ten points clear at 3-13.
Liam Middleton’s side made the perfect start to the second period, scoring inside the opening minute of the half. Tom Slater darted blind and, after the ball was moved through the hands, George Watkins coasted over in the corner for a converted try.
Bristol were reduced to fourteen men on the fifty-minute mark when Gaston Cortes received a yellow card for persistent infringement. But, despite the numerical disadvantage, the visitors went over for a third try soon after.
Matt Williams showed superb acceleration to squirm through three defenders for a fine individual effort. Jarvis couldn’t convert from the angle, so the score remained 3-25.
In a frenetic ten minute spell, referee Kieran Barry brandished two further yellow cards, with Bristol’s Rhys Lawrence and Bridgend’s Tom Habberfield getting their marching orders.
Matt Williams wrapped up a comfortable 8-32 victory with his second – and Bristol’s fourth – of the afternoon moments later. Bristol won a scrum against the head and, after a slick offload, the winger sped over the whitewash for a converted score.
Bridgend piled on the pressure and looked destined to cross when winger Luke Morgan burst clear, only for Williams to hold his opposite number up over the line. In the ensuing melee, Jack Tovey was the third Bristol player to be sin-binned, before Rhys Ward Jones burrowed over for a late Bridgend consolation.
Ben Thomas; Luke Morgan, Nathan Edwards, Sam Campbell, Ashley Evans; Jamie Murphy, Tom Habberfield; Ken Dowding, Ashleigh James, Jonny Thomas, Shaun O'Rourke, Alex Jones, Andrew Waite, Jonathan Vaughan, Scott Hicks.
Replacements: Chris Francis (for Sean O'Rourke, 69 mins), Gary Carpenter (for Ken Dowding, 75 mins), Lee Davies (for Alex Jones, 61 mins), Arthur Ellis (for Andrew Waite, 66 mins), Steve Winn, Rhys Ward Jones (for Tom Habberfield, 70 mins), Chris Williams (for Ben Thomas, 63 mins).
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, Matt Williams; Adrian Jarvis, Tom Slater; Kyle Traynor, Rhys Lawrence, Gaston Cortes, Ben Glynn, Glen Townson, Iain Grieve (c), Marco Mama, Alafoti Faosiliva.
Replacements: Tom Channon (for Rhys Lawrence, 77 mins), Mark Lilley (for Kyle Traynor, 69 mins), Wayne Thompson (for Gaston Cortes, 65 mins) George Biagi (for Glen Townson, 58 mins), Mitch Eadie (for Marco Mama, 78 mins), James Grindal (for Tom Slater, 62 mins), Tristan Roberts (for Ben Mosses, 69 mins).
Referee: Kieran Barry