Bristol secured a hard-fought 30-13 bonus point victory over a resilient Worcester at Ashton Gate. Tries from Piers O’Conor, Bryan Byrne, Siale Piutau and a penalty try – along with eight points from the boot of Wales international Ioan Lloyd – was enough to secure Pat Lam’s side their first victory of the Gallagher Premiership season.

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Tom Howe and Marco Mama crossed for Worcester with Billy Searle contributing three points from the kicking tee. Bristol started brightly with Lloyd kicking two early penalties before being forced to make a terrific try-saving tackle at the far left-hand corner on Nick David.

Worcester’s line speed in defence put their hosts under pressure with Searle opening their account with a simple penalty from right in front of the posts. But despite being under severe pressure in his own 22, Lloyd danced his way past four Worcester defenders before accelerating into a gap. 

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The 19-year-old raced 45 metres up-field before drawing his man to put O’Conor over for their first try. Worcester hit back in the 34th minute when Searle scooped up a loose ball before ghosting straight through a gap.  Searle made it to Bristol’s 22 before offloading to put Howe over for a try. Worcester missed the conversion meaning Bristol held an 11-8 lead at the interval. 

The visitors began the second-half strongly and took the lead after a powerful break from England international lock Ted Hill, who released the ball to Mama to touch down at the far right-hand corner to put the Warriors into a 13-11 lead. But Bristol quickly responded as their forwards shoved Worcester over their own line with Byrne touching down from short range courtesy of a well-worked driving lineout.

Worcester were dealt a significant blow when openside flanker Matt Kvesic was stretchered off the field with a suspected dislocated shoulder. The visiting pack lay siege to the Bristol try line but, after a period of sustained pressure, the hosts were able to clear their lines.

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Howe intercepted a Piutau pass and ran in unopposed from the half-way line but the try was disallowed for a high tackle from Oli Morris in the build-up. Such a close call served as a wake-up call for Bristol, whose strong driving lineout forced Andrew Kitchener into the sin-bin for illegally sacking a maul.

And Bristol made the most of their numerical advantage with Piutau powering his way over the line after another strong lineout with Lloyd converting from the touchline. Bristol put the result beyond doubt with a driving lineout from 25 metres out being illegally pulled down by Conor Carey, who was yellow-carded, with the referee awarding a penalty try.

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