Bristol's B&I Cup Hopes Dashed
Bristol Rugby 25-30 Leeds Carnegie
Bristol Rugby’s hopes of lifting the B&I Cup were dashed by a spirited Leeds outfit on Sunday.
The hosts went down 25-30 at the Memorial Stadium as both side scored four tries apiece.
Adam D’Arcy, Luke Eves, Lucas Slowik and Ross Johnston crossed for Bristol, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a first defeat since January.
Bristol seized the early initiative as Adam D’Arcy rounded off a well-worked attack to fly over in the corner for an unconverted score.
But Leeds leveled proceedings with an opportunist try on the ten-minute mark. After possession had been turned over on halfway, Glyn Hughes’ smart kick behind the defence was scooped up by David Doherty to touch down.
A Hughes three-pointer edged the visitors ahead, before Charlie Amesbury was a matter of inches away from going over from Tipuna’s miss-pass.
Redford Pennycook’s yellow card reduced the hosts to fourteen men, but Glyn Hughes couldn’t take immediate advantage, directing his penalty goal attempt wide of the upright.
In a tightly contested first period, James Doyle was sin-binned for persistent infringement, before Leeds Carnegie pushed further in front courtesy of Jonah Holmes.
The winger skipped through several challenges to cross the whitewash following a sixty-metre counter-attack. Hughes’ simple conversion gave the Yorkshire men a 5-15 lead.
But Bristol reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time as Luke Eves latched onto Tristan Roberts’ searching pass to dab down from close-range for an unconverted try.
Within four minutes of the restart, Chris Walker spotted a gap to dart over for Leeds’ third try of the afternoon. Hughes’ successful conversion moved the visitors 10-22 ahead.
The home side responded almost immediately as replacement Lucas Slowik galloped down the outside channel to dive over in spectacular style. Roberts struck the extras from the tightest of angles to put Bristol within five points.
And Ross Johnston’s unconverted try, after James Doherty had seen yellow, tied the scores at 22-22.
The hooker burrowed over midway through the second period to set up a thrilling climax at the Memorial Stadium.
Leeds regained the lead once more as James Doyle capitalized on acres of space to slide over in the corner, while Hughes couldn’t find the target with his conversion attempt.
Tristan Roberts’ penalty goal kept Bristol in touch, but Jonny Bentley’s late three-pointer ensured it was Carnegie who progress to the B&I Cup final.
Adam D’Arcy; Ryan Edwards, Bryan Rennie, Luke Eves, Charlie Amesbury; Tristan Roberts, Ruki Tipuna; Kyle Traynor, Ross Johnston, James Hall, Joe Joyce, Glen Townson, Iain Grieve, Redford Pennycook, Ben Skirving (c).
Replacements: Ollie Hayes (for Ross Johnston, 61 mins), Ellis Genge (for Kyle Traynor, 61 mins), Jason Hobson (for James Hall, 61 mins), Mariano Sambucetti (for Iain Grieve, 40 mins), Callum Braley (for Ruki Tipuna, 58 mins), Mark Cooke (for Ryan Edwards, 14 mins), Lucas Slowik (for Bryan Rennie, 40 mins).
Christian Georgiou; Jonah Holmes, Rob Vickerman, Joe Barker, David Doherty; Glyn Hughes, James Doherty; Lee Imiolek, Jack Walker, Paul Hill, Calum Green, Matt Smith, Harry Casson, Chris Walker, James Doyle.
Replacements: Dan Baines (for Jack Walker, 66 mins), Charlie Beech (for Lee Imiolek, 26 mins), James Currie (for Paul Hill, 66 mins), Nathan Hannay (for Calum Green, 53 mins), Jack Barnard (for Harry Casson, 58 mins), Matt Dudman, Jonny Bentley (for Glyn Hughes, 67 mins).
Referee: Gary Conway
ITEC UK Man of the Match: Luke Eves