|Bristol (17) 43|
|Tries: Morahan 2, Hughes, Protheroe, O’Conor, Afoa, Lloyd Cons: Sheedy 3, Lloyd|
|Bath (13) 16|
|Are attempting: Mercer Con: Priestland Pens: Priestland 3|
Bristol Bears opened the Premiership season with a thumping seven-strive make a selection over local competitors Bath at a packed Ashton Gate.
Luke Morahan and Nathan Hughes crossed early for Bristol but Zach Mercer hit motivate for Bath.
Mat Protheroe set the Bears 17-13 up loyal on half-time and his scoot helped Piers O’Conor prolong the lead.
John Afoa, Ioan Lloyd and Morahan again ensured Stuart Hooper lost his first league sport as Bath director of rugby.
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Bath had been beaten 17-10 in closing one year’s season-opener on the same ground and in addition they left Ashton Gate upset again, falling apart behind on after Lewis Boyce used to be sent to the bin.
The hosts led inner two minutes thru Morahan and confirmed ominous build within the first quarter-hour, with huge number eight Hughes impressing on his league debut and adding the second strive after Kiwi Charles Piutau’s trail thru the Bath defence.
Rhys Priestland’s boot and Mercer’s strive gave the visitors a short lead, but fast feet and palms from the hosts noticed them decide up the advantage thru the pacy Protheroe’s gorgeous strive on the stroke of the interval.
The Bears, who carried out ninth closing season, raced away within the second half, adding three tries within the final 13 minutes.
Bears thrill potential West Country crowd
The visitors had been missing England stars Sam Underhill, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Cokanasiga, Ruaridh McConnochie and Anthony Watson, moreover South Africa’s Francois Louw, on the eve of the World Cup quarter-finals in Japan.
Bath, who carried out sixth closing interval of time and stage on capabilities with fourth space, gave a foremost Premiership initiate up to flit Levi Davis, who’s starring in ITV’s X Ingredient Celeb this autumn.
However it used to be a Bristol little one who had a debut to remember as – after coming on from the replacements bench -18-one year-frail fly-half Lloyd crossed for a strive on the night he grew to changed into the youngest man to play within the Premiership for the Bears.
This hotly-anticipated West Country derby noticed Ashton Gate’s perfect crowd for a sporting fixture since its redevelopment concluded in 2016, surpassing what Championship soccer crew Bristol City – who share the venue with the Bears – had been ready to construct on yarn of house and away rugby fans are no longer segregated.
And the 26,399 in attendance had been treated to some blistering rugby from the house facet at events.
Having carried out apt five capabilities off a play-off space closing interval of time in their first marketing campaign motivate within the prime tier, the Bears receive begun 2019-20 with an announcement efficiency that highlighted their ambitions to play Champions Cup rugby and compete for silverware.
Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam:
“I’m essentially happy. The boys had been loading up and this present day they fired a range of pictures. We had to set on a efficiency and we’re jubilant the fans are going house elated.
“It wasn’t perfect. We knew if we got some more ball, the dam would burst if we kept placing the tension on. It be elegant but it surely’s apt the initiate up.
“[Nathan Hughes] is a quality player. We’ve got labored him exciting in pre-season, he is shed a pair of kilos. I give actual credit ranking to him.”
Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper:
“I’m upset. At half-time, we had been very great within the sport. Within the second half we gave away penalties and grew to changed into feeble.
“If you discontinue that against a crew enjoy this, you is doubtless to be going to combat.
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“The guys are realising that you may no longer apt give away ball cheaply against teams who’re elated to trail on the counter assault.”
Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Morahan, O’Conor, Hurrell, Protheroe; Sheedy, Uren; Woolmore, Thacker, Afoa, Attwood, Joyce, Luatua (c), D Thomas, Hughes.
Replacements: Malton, Y Thomas, Lahiff, Vui, Heenan, Randall, Lloyd, Leiua.
Bath: Homer; Brew, Clark, Wright, Davis; Priestland, Chudley; Obano, Dunn, Mediate, McNally, Ewels (c), Williams, Ellis, Mercer.
Replacements: Walker, Boyce, Stuart, Stooke, Bayliss, Cook dinner, Burns, Roberts.
Sin-bin: Boyce (65 mins)
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