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Report: Bristol Rugby 51-17 Nottingham

Bristol Rugby secured a bonus point with a comprehensive victory over Nottingham at Ashton Gate.

The hosts scored eight tries as Gareth Maule and David Lemi both notched three tries apiece – the first time two players have scored hat-tricks in the Club’s league history.

Jack Lam touched down on his return to the blue and white hoops, while replacement Ben Mosses also went over in a stylish Bristol performance.

Matthew Morgan kicked Bristol into a 3-0 lead on the quarter-hour, before Tiff Eden levelled proceedings with a three-pointer of his own.

Gareth Maule scored the first try of the evening when the centre collected Lemi’s inside pass to rampage over from fifteen metres.

Nottingham hit back through Campese Ma’afu’s close-range try, expertly converted by Eden to nudge the visitors narrowly ahead.

But the lead lasted less than a minute as David Lemi accelerated over in the corner after Matthew Morgan had carved an opening in the Green and White backline.

And Lemi added a quickfire second when, after superb defence forced a turnover, the winger cantered in from thirty metres to stretch the advantage to 20-10.

The sublime Morgan was on hand to set up Bristol’s fourth try when his perfectly weighted crossfield kick was met by Gareth Maule, who dotted down for his second, late in the first period.

Tiff Eden saw his penalty goal attempt fade wide, before Maule completed his hat-trick after the restart, capitalising on patient build up to cross from close range.

After Nottingham skipper Brent Wilson was sin-binned for not rolling away, Jack Lam marked his return to action with a try, fending off two defenders to muscle over the whitewash while Morgan converted.

David Lemi became the second player of the evening to notch a hat-trick when the winger latched onto Hampson’s pass to dot down for a converted try, moving the score to 44-10.

Bristol surpassed the fifty point mark as replacement Ben Mosses sliced through the Nottingham midfield to fly in under the posts for Bristol’s eighth try of the game.

George Porter’s late effort was little more than a consolation for Nottingham as Bristol ran out convincing winners at Ashton Gate.

Bristol Rugby:

Jack Wallace; Tommaso Benvenuti, Gareth Maule, Gavin Henson, David Lemi; Matthew Morgan, Dwayne Peel (c); Jack O’Connell, Ross McMillan, Anthony Perenise, Ian Evans, Ryan Jones, Nick Koster, Jack Lam, Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Ross McMillan, 71 mins), Gaston Cortes (for Anthony Perenise, 57 mins), Ben Glynn (for Ian Evans, 40 mins), Josh Ovens (for Mitch Eadie, 71 mins), Nicky Robinson (for Gareth Maule, 62 mins), Craig Hampson (for Dwayne Peel, 40 mins), Ben Mosses (for Gavin Henson, 67 mins).

Nottingham:

Billy Robinson; Pila Iongi, Heath Stevens, Javiah Pohe, Ed Styles; Tiff Eden, Sean Romans; Campese Ma'afu, Shaun Malton, Conor Carey, Tom Price, Dan Montagu, Rupert Cooper, Brent Wilson (c), Tom Calladine.

Replacements: Jon Vickers (for Shaun Malton, 40 mins), George Porter (for Campese Ma’afu, 53 mins), Michael Holford (for Conor Carey, 67 mins), Toby Freeman (for Tom Price, 54 mins), Matt Everard (for Brent Wilson, 79 mins), Alex Smit (for Sean Romans, 72 mins), Will Maisey (for Tiff Eden, 54 mins)

Referee: Tom Foley
Airbus UK Man of the Match: Gareth Maule
Attendance: 7,870