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Bristol Bears rout Newcastle with cricket score at Ashton Gate

By PA
Eduardo Bello of Newcastle Falcons looks dejected following his side's defeat during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Bristol Bears and Newcastle Falcons at Ashton Gate on April 21, 2024 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Bristol reeled off a fifth successive Gallagher Premiership victory as they continued their play-off push by demolishing Newcastle 85-14 at Ashton Gate.

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Pat Lam’s team scored more than 50 points for the third home game in a row, posting a club-record Premiership win, and they did not disappoint Newcastle’s consultant rugby director Steve Diamond, who had compared their all-action style to the Harlem Globetrotters.

Newcastle’s 15th league defeat of the season was confirmed with indecent haste as Bristol scored their bonus-point try after just 15 minutes – the fastest Premiership points maximum for 20 years.

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Munster attack coach Mike Prendergast previews his team’s URC face-off against the Bulls

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Munster attack coach Mike Prendergast previews his team’s URC face-off against the Bulls

They claimed seven first-half touchdowns – Siva Naulago, James Dun, Max Malins, Magnus Bradbury, James Williams, Ellis Genge and Benhard Janse van Rensburg all scored – with fly-half AJ MacGinty adding six conversions.

Further tries followed in the second period for Harry Randall, Kieran Marmion, Jake Heenan, Virimi Vakatawa (2) and Van Rensburg’s second – Williams kicked three conversions and Van Rensburg one – while Newcastle posted scores from wing Adam Radwan and fly-half Brett Connon, who also added two conversions.

22m Entries

Avg. Points Scored
4.4
19
Entries
Avg. Points Scored
4.6
3
Entries

Bristol’s Premiership run-in is not straightforward – Leicester away, Saracens at home and Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop – but they are a team high on confidence and could take some stopping in terms of clinching a top-four place.

It took Bristol just 83 seconds to open their account, and they did it in style through a long-range move started by Naulago, who linked impressively with scrum-half Harry Randall before collecting his scoring pass.

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MacGinty converted, and alarm bells were ringing even louder for Newcastle four minutes later when Bristol went through their forwards from a close-range line-out and Dun crashed over.

MacGinty’s conversion opened up a 14-point lead, and there was more to come with only nine minutes gone after prop Ellis Genge’s pass sent Malins through on a searing angle for another easy touchdown.

Newcastle were in all kinds of strife, but they then conjured a score from nowhere when the elusive Radwan gathered and finished impressively on a 40-metre dash to the line, with Connon converting.

A quickfire bonus-point try was inevitable and it duly arrived after Randall took a quick penalty before the supporting Bradbury touched down.

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Newcastle secured pockets of possession that briefly helped stem the tide, but Bristol’s dominance was overwhelming and try number five came when Williams capitalised on weak defence and MacGinty kicked his fourth conversion.

The one-way traffic continued towards half-time as Genge helped himself to a solo score, then Van Rensburg touched down wide out, with MacGinty adding two more conversions for a 47-7 interval advantage.

Bristol rugby director Pat Lam made a raft changes just five minutes into the second period, such was his team’s control, with Genge, his fellow prop Kye Sinckler, MacGinty and flanker Steven Luatua among those going off.

Inevitably, there weas no let-up, with Randall sprinting clear to score Bristol’s eighth try – Williams converted – then replacement scrum-half Marmion crossed, with Williams’ extras taking the home team past 60 points.

Newcastle responded through an interception try for Connon, that he also converted, but Heenan then added Bristol’s 10th touchdown before Van Rensburg and Vakatawa’s late brace completed the rout.

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D
Diarmid 11 hours ago
Players and referees must cut out worrying trend in rugby – Andy Goode

The guy had just beasted himself in a scrum and the blood hadn't yet returned to his head when he was pushed into a team mate. He took his weight off his left foot precisely at the moment he was shoved and dropped to the floor when seemingly trying to avoid stepping on Hyron Andrews’ foot. I don't think he was trying to milk a penalty, I think he was knackered but still switched on enough to avoid planting 120kgs on the dorsum of his second row’s foot. To effectively “police” such incidents with a (noble) view to eradicating play acting in rugby, yet more video would need to be reviewed in real time, which is not in the interest of the game as a sporting spectacle. I would far rather see Farrell penalised for interfering with the refereeing of the game. Perhaps he was right to be frustrated, he was much closer to the action than the only camera angle I've seen, however his vocal objection to Rodd’s falling over doesn't legitimately fall into the captain's role as the mouthpiece of his team - he should have kept his frustration to himself, that's one of the pillars of rugby union. I appreciate that he was within his rights to communicate with the referee as captain but he didn't do this, he moaned and attempted to sway the decision by directing his complaint to the player rather than the ref. Rugby needs to look closely at the message it wants to send to young players and amateur grassroots rugby. The best way to do this would be to apply the laws as they are written and edit them where the written laws no longer apply. If this means deleting laws such as ‘the put in to the scrum must be straight”, so be it. Likewise, if it is no longer necessary to respect the referee’s decision without questioning it or pre-emptively attempting to sway it (including by diving or by shouting and gesticulating) then this behaviour should be embraced (and commercialised). Otherwise any reference to respecting the referee should be deleted from the laws. You have to start somewhere to maintain the values of rugby and the best place to start would be giving a penalty and a warning against the offending player, followed by a yellow card the next time. People like Farrell would rapidly learn to keep quiet and let their skills do the talking.

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