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'Let's return to reality - Ireland must exercise caution'

Irish expectation soars as Andy Farrell's team sweeps all in its path, but cool heads are needed if they are to heed mistakes of the past

'World-class' Pollard play unlocks Bristol's defence

Handre Pollard scored a brillaint individual try to break open Bristol Bears' defence Credit: BT Sport

Richard Wigglesworth heaped praise on “world-class” Handre Pollard as Leicester beat Bristol 46-24 to boost their Gallagher Premiership semi-final hopes.


Tigers were 15-10 up at half-time after Harry Thacker’s 10th try of the season was cancelled out by scores from Ben Youngs and Anthony Watson.

Gabriel Ibitoye put Bristol back in front after the break, but Tigers retook control thanks to a double from Julian Montoya and Pollard’s superb finish.

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Harry Randall scored a late try for the visitors, but it was not enough to inspire a comeback and Charlie Clare crossed the whitewash in the last play to wrap up the win.

South African fly-half Pollard finished with a 19-point haul and Tigers head coach Wigglesworth was hugely impressed by his display.

“He is everything you would expect from a world-class fly-half,” he said.

Handre Pollard
Handre Pollard – PA

“He has got an intensity to him that when he speaks, you listen.

“He was really good today, he has been good for weeks. It is not just about what he does on a Saturday, it is about what he does in the week.


“Senior players are really driving the environment at the moment, they are grabbing hold of it and that makes the weeks go smoothly as they are more competitive.

“The whole squad is driving what we are doing and he personified that today. I thought he was really good.

“Parts of that performance were very good, especially in the second half. We were slightly off in a few areas, but the boys tightened them up and we found an advantage with all their injuries and brought it home.”


Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam felt his side were not at their best, despite being unlucky to see Magnus Bradbury’s try disallowed.

He added: “We believed we scored a good try with Magnus, but it was ruled out.


“We will go through the review process. It is like an ankle tap, if you are not down you can get up and run.

“But we did score soon after that through Gabriel Ibitoye and we only have ourselves to blame for our indiscipline which we have been really good at over the last four weeks.

“It is never easy here, but we made it a bit more difficult for ourselves. I can’t fault the effort.

“We have prided ourselves over the last few weeks on building pressure by keeping the ball, but we were really loose today, that rain just as we came out made a difference and we kept turning the ball over.

“I was really proud of our scrum because we gave Leicester 10 scrum put-ins in the first half which tells the story of our mistakes.”


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