image source, Rex Features


Siva Naulago’s second-half try helped the Bristol Bears win away to bottom-place Bath at the Rec.

Attempt: reid Scam: Francisco Feathers: Francis 2

Attempts: Williams, Naulago Scam: MacGinty Pen: MacGinty

Bristol cruised to a nervous victory in Bath to complete a West Country double derby at the Recreation Ground.

James Williams and Siva Naulago crossed either side of halftime for the visitors, but despite Piers Francis kicking eight points and Miles Reid crashing, Francis’ missed penalty four minutes from time proved costly.

Bath remain bottom of the Premiership.

Bristol remain bottom third but now hold a six-point lead over Bath, who are yet to win from their seven games in all competitions in 2023.

Bath’s line-out problems, so evident in last week’s defeat to London Irish, came back to haunt them in the frantic early stages, while Francis missed an early penalty.

The tie was broken on 18 minutes when Bristol’s Semi Radradra pirouetted his way over the gain line before moving past Williams to land near the posts to record his first Premier League try on his 26th birthday.

AJ MacGinty converted to give the Bears a 7-0 lead, but Francis missed a chance to reduce the gap eight minutes later.

Gabriel Ibitoye produced a fine tackle to deny Bath’s Max Ojomoh a score at the corner, but seconds later a short-range touch led to Reid going over the posts.

Francis added the extras to level the scores, but seconds after the restart Harry Thacker saw an opportunistic attempt nullified by a knockout blow against Naulago after charging a kick from Francis.

Francis kicked Bath in front for the first time with a contested penalty two minutes before half-time, but two minutes after the restart a sweeping move and long pass from Radradra found Naulago and he swept past Matt Gallagher and ran down the line to score coldly. in the corner.

Williams missed the conversion and MacGinty was penalized in the 52nd minute after conceding his side’s 13th penalty, with Francis kicking Bath for a 13-12 lead.

Bath were unable to make the most of their lead, and moments after coming back, MacGinty restored Bristol’s lead with a point-blank penalty.

Francis then missed a 42-metre penalty, which he could have won with four minutes remaining, as Bath fell to their ninth single-figure defeat of the season.

Bath prostitute Niall Annett told BBC Radio Bristol:

“Derbies are usually rudimentary, it was quite messy, a lot of 50-50, and unfortunately we came out on the losing side, which is very disappointing.

“It all comes down to the little things, not just Piers (Francis missing a penalty), we all have to take responsibility, individually and collectively, that wasn’t enough.

“We have to go and figure out how we win these close games because we’ve had too many, we need to turn them into wins. Unfortunately, we weren’t good enough tonight.”

“We have a couple of days to prepare and then we will go again and work out a plan together to try and get a win at Leicester.”

Harry Randall, who managed Bristol for the first time in their 100th appearance, told BBC Radio Bristol:

“It’s an easy game to get up from. I think the guys tried really hard to get the win. It was far from perfect, but it’s a sign of this team and the way we’re going, the way we adapt to situations .

“Semi Radradra has had a difficult period with injury but tonight he led from the front and that’s what great players do – we’ll pat him on the back tonight.”

“We talked at half time, our discipline was poor in the first half, I think we put pressure on in the second half, scored right away and made them chase. We showed great character to get back in front after falling back.”

“Good teams find a way to win when it’s not perfect, we’ve been far from perfect in the Prem but now it’s two on the rebound and hopefully we can build on that next week.”

Bathroom: De Glanville, Cokanasiga, Redpath, Ojomoh, Gallagher, Francis, Spencer (c); Obano, Annett, Rae, Attwood, Roux, Bayliss, Underhill, Reid.

Replacements: Dunn, Schoeman, Stuart, Van Velze, Coetzee, Schreude, Bailey, Cloete.

Bristol Bears: Piutau, Naulago, Radradra, Williams, Ibitoye, MacGinty, Randall (c); Thomas, Thacker, Lahiff, Joyce, Vui, Jeffries, Harding, Bradbury.

Replacements: B Byrne, Woolmore, Kloska, Heenan, Lewis, Uren, Bedlow, Lloyd.


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