Bristol Seal Vital Win In The Rain
Bristol Rugby 12 - 9 Leeds Carnegie
A forwards-inspired performance helped Bristol Rugby to a narrow 12-9 victory over Leeds Carnegie on Friday evening.
Adrian Jarvis kicked four first half penalties to give the hosts a 12-0 lead at the interval, before his counterpart Rory Clegg set up a nervy finale with three penalty goals of his own after the break.
Leeds lost Dominic Barrow and Joe Graham to the sin-bin as Bristol kept their play-off hopes alive at a rain soaked Memorial Stadium.
Having soaked up a series of early Leeds attacks, Adrian Jarvis kicked the hosts into a 3-0 lead with a well-struck effort in front of the posts.
The fly half capitalized on a strong period of Bristol pressure to add another successful three-pointer soon after.
Leeds lock Dominic Barrow was sin-binned by referee JP Doyle for consistent infringement and Bristol took immediate advantage, stretching their lead to 9-0 just inside the half hour.
Jarvis saw a long-range effort fade short, but made amends on the stroke of half-time with a penalty goal to give the home side a 12-0 advantage at the break.
Aided by a strong wind in the second period, Leeds reduced the deficit almost immediately with a forty-metre penalty goal from the boot of Rory Clegg, while Jarvis miscued his penalty effort left of the upright moments later.
Clegg saw an outrageous drop-goal attempt ricochet off the post, before striking the post with a penalty goal from the angle as the visitors went in search of a route back into the game.
The breakthrough came after fifty minutes, when Clegg made no mistake in front of the posts – keeping Carnegie in touch at 12-6.
The on-loan fly half struck another penalty to close the gap further, before replacement hooker Joe Graham was the second Leeds player to receive a yellow card.
With the driving rain making life difficult for both sides, Bristol came close to crossing the whitewash courtesy of a rumbling maul, but Carnegie held firm.
The final whistle was met with elated celebrations on the terraces as Bristol reignited their top-four ambitions with a hard-earned win.
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, Ryan Edwards; Adrian Jarvis, James Grindal (c); Kyle Traynor, Ross Johnston, Jason Hobson, Mariano Sambucetti, Glen Townson, Marco Mama, Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence, Mark Lilley (for Kyle Traynor, 80 mins), Wayne Thompson, Ben Glynn (for Mariano Sambucetti, 64 mins), Alafoti Faosiliva, Tristan Roberts, Ruki Tipuna (for James Grindal, 64 mins).
Stevie McColl; Matt Clark, Josh Griffin, Pete Lucock, David Doherty; Rory Clegg, Craig Hampson; Sam Lockwood, Phil Nilsen, Damien Tussac, Calum Green, Dominic Barrow, Rob Baldwin, Jacob Rowan (c), Ryan Burrows.
Replacements: Joe Graham (for Phil Nilson, 66 mins), Ben Harris, Ben Hooper (for Sam Lockwood, 76 mins),, Matt Smith (for Callum Green, 76 mins), Mike Myerscough (for Dominic Barrow, 55 mins), James Doherty (for Craig Hampson, 50 mins), Christian Georgiou.
Referee: JP Doyle