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Bristol prove too strong for resilient Scots despite fightback

Bristol prove too strong for resilient Scots despite fightback

Bristol managed to survive a strong second-half fightback from London Scottish to secure a 37-13 victory at Ashton Gate.

Bristol managed to survive a strong second-half fightback from London Scottish to secure a 37-13 victory at Ashton Gate.

The Scots trailed 16-3 at half-time but two early tries from Aaron Morris and Peter Lydon brought them back to within three points of the hosts with 50 minutes on the clock.


However Bristol proved too strong in the final quarter of the match, and responded with three tries in the last 20 minutes to record a bonus-point win in front of the Sky Sports cameras, against a Scottish side that produced one of their finest performances of the season. 

Gavin Henson had his kicking boots on for the hosts and was successful with all seven attempts. The Welshman’s boot was ticking the scoreboard over early in the match, and had given them a 9-0 advantage after 17 minutes with three penalties. 

Matt Williams was stretchered off with a knee injury which halted play after 20 minutes, the winger was returning to action but now faces an unfortunate spell on the sidelines, and left Ashton Gate on crutches. 

Peter Lydon got the Scots on the scoreboard on the 20-minute mark. The full-back’s penalty put them 9-3 behind after soaking up a lot of early pressure. 

The Scots were keen to play an expansive game and run from anywhere, which is exactly what they did when a turnover allowed them to utilise the pace in their back line. After running from inside their own 22, Robbie Fergusson’s well measured kick pinned Bristol back deep into their own territory. 

Scottish then had a huge opportunity after half an hour. George Horne took a quick penalty and left several defenders behind after some impressive footwork. The scrum-half brought play to within inches of the Bristol try-line, but the ball was fumbled when spread out wide, and the hosts survived.

Mitch Eadie then scored the first try of the match just minutes later to put Bristol firmly in the driving seat. The number-eight was returning to action after suspension, and drove over the line from close range just before the break. Henson’s conversion gave Bristol a 16-3 half-time advantage.

The half-time team talk clearly worked for Scottish as they came flying out of the blocks at the start of the second 40 minutes.

Aaron Morris dived over in the corner to score after a lengthy check with the TMO for a forward pass. The Scots had an overlap on the left wing following a swift change of direction in attack, and Morris ran on to Robbie Fergusson's pass to go over the line. Lydon’s conversion went wide but Scottish were now right back in to the match.

It got better for Scottish just four minutes later. A turnover gave them a penalty on the half-way line, and a monstrous touch find from Lydon meant that they had a line-out just five-metres from the try-line. It was then Lydon himself who was the beneficiary, the ball was again spun out wide after a driving maul and the full-back had the pace to evade the defence in the corner. This time his conversion struck the post, and meant that then Scots trailed by three points with half an hour to pay.

Bristol managed to absorb the next attacks on their line, and Jack Wallace gave them breathing space with a try on the hour mark. The full-back ran on to Matthew Morgan’s offload and found a gap in the defence to dive over the line. 

Scottish stole a Bristol line-out whilst under huge pressure and again showed their attacking flair by running the length of the field, but the kick through was eventually gathered by the thankful Bristol defence. 

Jack Lam sealed the victory with 10 minutes to play for the hosts. The Scots were unable to hold on to a line-out in their own 22 and the flanker was able to rumble over the line, to the delight of the crowd of over 7,000 at Ashton Gate.

Mitch Eadie’s second try of the night sealed the bonus-point with two minutes left on the clock. Adrian Jarvis’ kick in behind caught the defence out, and Eadie was able to run in unattended to score. Henson’s final effort of the night gave them a 37-13 lead.

Scottish continued to press but it was eventually to no avail, and headed back to Richmond with plenty of positives to take despite suffering a defeat.

The Scots now face Rotherham Titans at the Athletic Ground next Saturday, 5th December at 15:00 in the first of three home matches in the month of December.

Tickets and hospitality are still available, book by contacting the commercial office. If you by a ticket bundle with all three matches you can then choose to attend any match for the rest of the season for free, don’t miss out!

Bristol Rugby:
15 Jack Wallace; 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Jack Tovey, 12 Gavin Henson, 11 David Lemi (c) (replaced by Adrian Jarvis); 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Will Cliff; 1 Jack O’Connell (replaced by Kyle Traynor), 2 Chris Brooker (replaced by Marc Jones) , 3 Anthony Perenise (replaced by Gaston Cortes), 4 Joe Joyce, 5 Mark Sorenson (replaced by Glen Townson), 6 Nick Koster (replaced by James Phillips), 7 Jack Lam, 8 Mitch Eadie.

16 Marc Jones, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Gaston Cortes, 19 Glen Townson, 20 James Phillips, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Adrian Jarvis.

Tries: Mitch Eadie (36, 79 minutes) Jack Wallace (62 minutes) Jack Lam (69 minutes)
Conversions: Gavin Henson (36, 62, 69, 79 minutes)
Penalties: Gavin Henson (9, 14, 18 minutes)

London Scottish:
15 Peter Lydon (replaced by Matt Heeks) 14 Matt Williams (replaced by Aaron Morris) 13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Lee Millar 11 Jason Harries 10 Oli Grove 9 George Horne 1 James Gibbons (replaced by Kurt Schonert) 2 David Cherry (replaced by Tyrone Moran) 3 Matt Shields (replaced by Jimmy Litchfield) 4 Will Carrick Smith (replaced by Rory Bartle) 5 Neale Patrick 6 Mark Bright (c) 7 Chevvy Pennycook (replaced by Chris Walker) 8 Freddie Clarke

16 Kurt Schonert 17 Tyrone Moran 18 Jimmy Litchfield 19 Rory Bartle 20 Chris Walker 21 Matt Heeks 22 Aaron Morris

Tries: Aaron Morris (47 minutes) Peter Lydon (51 minutes)
Penalties:  Peter Lydon (21 minutes)

Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Healy & Simon McConnell
Fourth Official: Thomas Foley
Television Match Official: Geoffrey Warren

Half-Time: Bristol Rugby 16 – 3 London Scottish

Full-Time:Bristol Rugby 37 – 13  London Scottish

Attendance: 7143

Sky Sports Man-Of-The-Match: Mitch Eadie 

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