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Report: Bristol Rugby 40-29 Jersey

Bristol ensured they will finish the regular season with a 100% home record after battling to a bonus-point victory over Jersey at Ashton Gate.

The hosts ran in five tries courtesy of Charlie Amesbury (2), Matthew Morgan, Gavin Henson and Jack Lam – while Henson added 15 points with the boot to finish with a 20-point tally for the evening.

Bristol started in blistering fashion and crossed after just two minutes, as Morgan’s mesmerising footwork created an opening for Amesbury to touch down.

But Jersey hit back almost immediately, through former Bristol man Fautua Otto, who collected Jonny Bentley’s cross-field kick to dot down in the corner.

A Henson penalty restored the lead on fourteen minutes, before Morgan scorched over from forty metres for Bristol’s second, following a sweeping midfield move, with Henson added the extras.

But back came the visitors again with two tries in as many minutes – first number eight Paula Kaho powered his way over at the back of a driving maul, before Otto added his second to send the Channel Islanders into the break with a four-point lead.

The hosts began the second-half much like the first, scoring early on through Charlie Amesbury, who collected Morgan’s skewed cross-field kick to dive over in the left-hand corner – Henson converted from the touchline for 22-19.

Jersey full-back Aaron Penberthy slotted a neat drop-goal to level the scores on 52 minutes – before Jack Lam powered over from close range to seal the bonus-point on the hour.

Henson knocked over his second penalty to open up an eight-point lead – and he then put the game to bed with a converted try under the posts three minutes from time.

Jersey were then awarded a penalty try to seal their own bonus-point on 79 minutes – but Henson rounded off proceedings with his third penalty of the evening with the final kick of the game, to complete a 40-29 victory for the hosts.

Bristol Rugby:

Jack Wallace; Jack Tovey, Gareth Maule, Gavin Henson, Charlie Amesbury; Matthew Morgan, Craig Hampson; Ellis Genge, Ross McMillan (c), Anthony Perenise, Ben Glynn, Glen Townson, Nick Koster, Olly Robinson, Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: James Stephenson (for Ellis Genge, 77 mins), Gaston Cortes (for Anthony Perenise, 70 mins), Ryan Jones (for Glen Townson, 70 mins), Jack Lam (for Nick Koster, 50 mins), Tom Kessell (for Craig Hampson, 50 mins), Nicky Robinson (for Jack Wallace, 60 mins), George Watkins (for Jack Tovey, 60 mins).

Jersey:

Aaron Penberthy, Ed Dawson, Drew Locke, Lewis Robling, Fautua Otto, Jonny Bentley, Ryan Glynn, Ignacio Lancuba, Martin Garcia-Veiga, Danny Herriott, Nick Campbell, Pierce Phillips, Alex Rae (capt), Nick Haining, Paula Kaho

Replacements: Sam Lockwood (for Ignacio Lancuba, 46 mins), Nick Selway (for Martin Garcia-Veiga, 77 mins), Harry Williams (for Danny Herriott, 43 mins), Dave Markham (for Joe Buckle, 7 mins), Joel Dudley (for Ryan Glynn, 75 mins), David Bishop (for Lewis Robling, 69 mins), Tobias Hoskins (for Ed Dawson, 69 mins).

Referee: Greg MacDonald
Airbus UK Man of the match, Charlie Amesbury
Attendance: 7,649