Bristol news Late Wasps try denies brave Bristol Bears a famous win MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Bristol Bears were beaten 23-20 at the Ricoh Arena
Breaking News ! Missing a total of 16 players, through either injury or international call-ups, it was always going to be a tough ask for the Bears to come away with victory from the Ricoh. These absentees, coupled with Bristol’s poor record against Wasps, not winning in over 14 years, meant the visitors were certainly the underdogs, but the underdogs fought valiantly against a Wasps side buoyed by the return of Jack Willis and Jacob Umaga from England duty. The much changed Bears side pushed last year’s Premiership runners-up to the final moments, with tries from the outstanding Harry Randall and Siale Piutau. But Wasps took their chances at pivotal times, with second half tries from both Willis brothers, Jack and Tom, meaning Bristol came away with just a point from the Ricoh Arena, losing 23-20 in the opening game of the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership. Read More Related Articles Bristol Bears player ratings from Wasps defeat: 'He really stood up to be counted' Read More Related Articles Wasps Rugby 23-20 Bristol Bears live: Late try denies brave Bristol a famous win With Callum Sheedy absent due to international duty, kicking duty fell to stand-in fly-half Sam Bedlow, and Bedlow began this campaign how Sheedy closed the last, with a penalty inside the opening minutes to give the Bears the lead. Bristol started the game brightly and continued to pressure the Wasps line with some lively attacking link-up play and some penalty kicks to the corner, but the home-sides defence held strong. Wasps responded with a penalty of their own through Jimmy Gopperth, and last season’s Premiership finalists thought they were on their way to scoring the game’s first try but Josh Bassett was denied when Jacob Umaga’s pass was judged to be forward. The home-side grew into the game and continued to pressure the Bears' defensive line, but Lam’s side kept their try-line safe, with Wasps coming away from a long period of pressure with only a second Gopperth penalty. Bristol tried to mount attacks of their own, but nothing could stick in the hands of the Bears back-line. Lee Blackett’s Wasps side had the best chance to get the opening try of the game in the half's closing minutes, with numerous drives to the line from their powerful forwards following a tap penalty. But when it looked a certainty the lead was going to be extended, a dominant tackle from John Afoa and a strong jackal from Siale Piutau earned the Bears a vital penalty and kept the score 6-3 at the break. Wasps started the second half like they ended the first, but once again they failed to cross the try-line, with Niyi Adeolokun this time preventing a certain Zach Kibirige try with an excellent last ditch tackle. Chris Vui of Bristol Bears is tackled by Zach Kibirige of Wasps and Paolo Odogwu of Wasps (Image: Rogan/JMP) Jimmy Gopperth added a third penalty of the game, but a strong break from Alapati Leiua gave Bristol threatening field position for the first time and Wasps were penalised further with Juan de Jongh sent to the sin bin for a defensive infringement. The Bears capitalised on the man advantage and finally crossed the try line for the contests first try, with Harry Randall barging over after a second of two electric quick taps from the lively scrum-half. Sam Bedlow converted the try and added a second penalty to extend the Bears lead, but the lead didn’t last long. Jack Willis finally crossed the line for Wasps' first try, with the TMO judging the newly capped England flanker dotted down from a close-range drive, with Gopperth adding the extras.
. Unfortunately for the Bears it just wasn’t to be with Wasps securing the victory through a late try when Josh Bassett strode down the left wing, breaking the tackle of Piers O’Conor before passing inside to Tom Willis who ran in under the posts, allowing Gopperth to convert easily to clinch the victory. The Bears attacked to the death, but they could not find away through and Lam’s side had to settle with a losing bonus point to start the season.
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Wasps: 15 Lima Sopoaga, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Ben Vellacott; 1 Simon McIntyre, 2 Tommy Taylor, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Tim Cardall, 5 James Gaskell, 6 Jack Willis, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Brad Shields. Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom West, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Alfie Barbeary, 21 Tom Willis, 22 Sam Wolstenholme, 23 Paolo Odogwu. Bristol Bears: 15 Piers O’Conor, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Siale Piutau (C), 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Sam Bedlow, 9 Harry Randall; 1 Yann Thomas, 2 Bryan Byrne, 3 John Afoa, 4 Ed Holmes, 5 Joe Joyce, 6 Chris Vui, 7. Dan Thomas, 8 Jake Heenan. Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Jake Armstrong, 19 John Hawkins, 20 James Dun, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Tom Wilstead, 23 Toby Fricker. Referee: Thomas Foley Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald & Simon Harding Attendance: Behind Closed Doors
Source = MetiNews.Com