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New Bristol points record as Gloucester fall to sixth loss in a row

By PA
Fitz Harding scores for Bristol (Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images)

Bristol ended their run of five Gallagher Premiership defeats by thumping Gloucester 51-26 in a one-sided West Country derby. The Bears led 41-7 early in the second half before relaxing to allow Gloucester a hint of respectability, but they were comfortably outplayed for most of the match.

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Bristol’s points tally was the highest they had achieved against their opponents in 59 league fixtures between the clubs as Gloucester fell to their sixth consecutive defeat.

Livewire Harry Randall scored two of their tries while Max Malins, Ellis Genge, Fitz Harding, Joe Batley and Harry Thacker also got in on the act. Callum Sheedy kicked four conversions and a penalty, with James Williams also adding a conversion and a penalty.

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Louis Rees-Zammit and Jamal Ford-Robinson both scored two tries for Gloucester with Santiago Carreras converting three.

Bristol had much the better of the early possession and territory but basic handling errors at crucial times prevented them from capitalising. Their pressure eventually told when Gloucester lost possession at a five-metre scrum for Malins to collect a well-judged chip ahead from Virimi Vakatawa to score.

Sheedy missed the conversion before turning down a kickable penalty in favour of more attacking options and it paid dividends when Genge finished off a succession of forward drives.

Straight from the restart, Thacker burst away on a 50-metre run into the opposition 22 and another Bristol try looked likely but Rich Lane was forced into touch just short of the line.

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The visitors suffered two further blows in quick succession as prop Mayco Vivas departed with a leg injury before Randall darted away from a ruck to score the Bears’ third try.

On the half-hour, the hosts scored their bonus-point try. A neat off-load from Kyle Sinckler sent Dan Thomas through a huge gap and skipper Harding was on hand for the scoring pass. Sheedy converted and added a penalty before Gloucester conjured up their first attack in the 38th minute.

A burst from Ruan Ackermann gave Rees-Zammit an opportunity and the wing won a lineout in the Bristol 22. Gloucester secured possession from it and Rees-Zammit powered past two defenders to force his way over to leave his side trailing 29-7 at the interval.

Within 40 seconds of the restart, the home side extended their advantage when Randall quickly took a penalty before kicking ahead and winning the race to touch down for an excellent solo try.

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Bristol’s sixth came from Batley, who muscled over from close range before the home side took their foot off the gas by replacing both half-backs, Sheedy and Randall.

Gloucester immediately responded with three tries in quick succession with Rees-Zammit flying over in the corner before Ford-Robinson twice powered over from close range.

Gloucester reduced the deficit to 15 points but Ackermann was yellow carded for collapsing a driving maul which enabled Thacker to seal victory from a lineout drive, with a last-minute penalty from Williams putting the icing on the cake.

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Red and White Dynamight 2 hours ago
Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sinks sloppy England to win Calcutta Cup

Up the Jocks ! a great team effort and 4 victories v on the bounce v their greatest rivals for those north of Hadrians. But, of course, before the celebrations survive the first pint of McEwans, it seems for some this Calcutta Cup match was merely 1 man v 15. What exactly is it about Sth Africans that make them such insufferable bores ? you rarely see Kiwis claiming Ireland victories (incl 3 x NZers) or Aussies for that matter (X1). You never see Samoans claiming France/England victories (Tuilagis). Or Fijians claim All Black victories. Scotland have had some great Kiwi-born players (S.Lineen/B.Laney/J.Leslie) - no surprise given their heritage - but they supported them as their ‘2nd team’. If anything they applaud their countrymen for taking opportunities and bettering themselves as professionals and, hopefully, competing on the World stage too. It takes some stratospheric level of stupid to ignore the opaque boundaries and qualifications that now allow Japan to be competitive, Portugal to win a RWC game, Argentinians to play for Italy, New Zealanders to dominate Tongan and Samoan teams - and not celebrate that World Rugby is more competitive and better for it. Everywhere on social media, even when the post has zero to do with Sth Africans (schoolboy rugby being the most obvious barrel-scraping eg - these are KIDS), they pile in and try to claim the “we are better/stronger/faster” with such voluminous levels of obnoxious bile, that it poisons the mere celebration of the sport itself. These are not ‘rugby fans’ that can marvel at the Game they Play in Heaven, but rather some misplaced insecure-fuelled poison that they need to extract from deep inside their psyche. Its hard to understand the exact reason for the massive chip on their shoulders and their desperation for the victimhood/noone-loves-us-we-dont-care, but it seems accelerated with their LOTTO Cup 1-pt wins, like gasoline on the fire. Obsessed with ‘cheating’ refs and ‘cheating’ opposition (Rassies video bloopers during Lions tour; McCaw’s whole career) and celebrating their own thuggery (#JUSTICE4 the dirtiest player in pro-rugby history), when luck suddenly goes their way (1995 Final vs an acutely comprimised ABs; Kilosi<->Cane cards in 2023 Final) or their players escape adequate penalty (Etzebeth 1-handed non-intercepts; Kolbe illegal chargedown; Etzebeth cynically retreating in the AB backline) so obviously that its clearly been coached, then suddenly its AOK as long its SA that benefit directly from it. The schizophrenic nature of Sth Africans presents them as good company in person - and lets face it, theyre EVERYWHERE now and cant get out of their own country fast enough - but as anonymous keyboard ninjas their true nature shines out as one beset with a dark undercurrent of toxic self-absorption. It appears that the bravado appears only under the protection of anonymity, a cowardice of insufferable reverse-flagellation to make themselves feel proud when the mirror stares back at them. Give yourselves a long slow clap. Well done to the entire Scotland team including all those born south of Hadrians Wall. Playing a fantastic fast pace of fluid ball-in-hands rugby that seems almost foreign to other teams. Och aye the noo.

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