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BRIS HOLD ON FOR A SINGLE POINT DERBY VICTORY
Bristol, bottom of the league, on the back of a bad run, thumped in the last two games - up against B**h. Obviously a 12 – 11 victory was the only possible outcome. Form book out of the window as Bristol’s struggle for Premiership survival continues. The players stepped up to the mark in an enthralling, if tense, encounter. Next up - the club we have to overhaul to avoid relegation.
What would you give for this?
A famous victory that ultimately proved in vain with Bristol relegated after a dismal performance against London Irish. Even if B**h had finished the season rock bottom the chances are they would have been saved by a shocking merger of the two clubs. But here's the match report from that game: The end result of the 222nd meeting between these great West Country rivals, which if the papers are to be believed are destined to be called either the Wessex Stormers or the West Country Stormers in the very near future, was a resounding 30-20 victory for the Bristol Shoguns.
VARNDELL CLAIMS RECORD TRY BUT BRIS SURRENDER
A win would have seen Bristol off the bottom. Instead a horrible 'performance', relieved only by Tom Varndell's 91st Premiership try, ensured that Bristol would remain stuck in last place and killed off the optimism engendered by the recent league results. In truth there were actually some good aspects to Bristol’s play but they were hugely outweighed by a failure to carry out some of the basics to anything even close to an acceptable standard. Poor ball retention seemed to be the worst culprit, undermining any of the good work Bristol put in. Combine this with a tactical kicking game that failed to give any territory or control and it was a recipe for disaster even against a side that was apparently unable to play for more than 30 seconds without having at least four players collapsing to the ground at the next break in play.
GLOS SECOND HALF BLOWS AWAY BRIS
Bristol were in front at half time with Gloucester failing to trouble the scoreboard. A vastly improved performance from the hosts in the second half took the game away from Bristol in emphatic fashion. Two very late tries put a slight gloss on the final score but it was too little, too late and even the losing bonus point remained out of reach. Time is fast running out for Bristol to retain a Premiership status that took so long to regain.
BRISTOL'S SEARCH FOR A WIN GOES ON
In the first Premiership derby for seven years Bristol came away with a losing bonus point and might even have claimed a draw at the very end. Although Bristol were competitive against a rather makeshift B**h side there is a world of difference between being competitive and winning. Bristol dominated possession for much of the opening quarter and for the closing ten minutes without ever looking able to cross the whitewash except by way of a drive from close range. In between they were under pressure throughout and never seemed able to break that stranglehold. B**h fashioned one breakthrough and scored the only try of the game. Bristol could never quite manage to do the same.
NEW ERA, DIFFERENT STORY
A win at last for Bristol. OK, so it wasn't in the Premiership, against a side that wasn't near full-strength and is notoriously poor on the road but it was a win. And quite a good win too. A much heralded new signing made a very positive impact and didn't get injured after twenty minutes and some of the old stagers looked much better than we have seen recently. The defence, while far from perfect looked sharper. The defence of the rolling maul continues to be impressive. Right, who's up next?
NEW ERA, SAME STORY?
After a turbulent week for Bristol it was something of a surprise to find there was actually a game of rugby on Friday evening. Yes, it was just the Anglo Welsh Cup and no, Andy Robinson wouldn’t have been in charge for the game in any event but for the optimists it was a chance to see if a Bristol side would show signs of a renaissance. Unsurprisingly, at the start of an interregnum, there really weren’t signs of a new regime. The same virtues and vices were on view. A solid display in the set-piece, a brief flourish of dominance before defensive frailties and poor discipline undid the early good work. However, Bristol never gave up, some individuals did well and that’s probably all we would have wanted from a cup game before the season started. Sadly, given the league results and recent events most supporters will have wanted more.
BRISTOL SLUMP TO DERBY DEFEAT
It won't rate highly in the pantheon of derby matches with B**h, but it was the first competitive one in seven years. Neither side had much to be happy with in terms of performance but the hosts came out of it with their second victory in the group and for Bristol it was the latest in a dispiriting series of results so far this season.
BRIS CRASH TO ANOTHER HEAVY DEFEAT
Life in the Premiership doesn't get any easier with a home defeat to Exeter. The opposition racked up another big score although it was a major improvement on last Sunday's loss to Wasps. Bristol competed valiantly but simply could not contain the attacking threat of the visiting side.
SAINTS TEACH BRISTOL SOME HARSH LESSONS
Bristol crashed to a 10 - 32 home defeat against Northampton. The bubble of optimism following the performance against 'Quins was well and truly burst after a first half in which a solitary penalty was the sole response to three tries. The second half was a better story but Bristol found out what it is like to face a Premiership side playing much nearer its best than the opponents of last week.