Bristol live to fight another day against Worcester

Bristol produced stunning rugby against Worcester on Sunday to keep their hopes of staying in the Guinness Premiership alive, winning 37-18 in the warm sunshine at the Memorial Stadium.


Bristol’s battle to avoid relegation is all but over, but they made sure they stayed in the top flight for at least a while longer by securing their first bonus point in over a year. Tom Arscott was the star of the show, while Lee Robinson’s brace of tries contributed greatly.

Flyhalf Ed Barnes had a chance to get Bristol on the board early on, but he missed his penalty attempt wide to the right and allowed Warriors to breathe easier for a few seconds. Arscott stormed over the line after stepping through four tackles and Barnes converted in the 10th minute.

Warriors could have reduced the gap five minutes later, but Willie Walker’s penalty attempt would have missed a second set of posts, so badly did he slice it. Bristol was by far the better side though, making more use of their possession and territory.

The home side’s second try came in the 22nd minute through centre Junior Fatialofa. Robinson made the original break, passing to Arscott to lobbed it to his team-mate to score. Barnes failed to bag the conversion though, missing to the right from the touchline.

Bristol’s fight against the drop continued unabated and they scored their third try in the 27th minute. Their backline did most of the work before Argentina international Mariano Sambucetti crashed over the line. Barnes again missed the conversion, leaving the score on 17-0.

Warriors responded to the blitz with a bit more force as the half came to a close. They made several drives towards the line and at one stage looked set for a try but David Lemi made a superb tackle to thwart Alex Grove’s effort. Their determination paid off in the 41st minute when Dale Rasmussen powered past the defenders. Walker converted and they went into the break on 17-7.

Warriors continued their comeback as soon as play resumed. Walker slotted a difficult penalty in the 44th minute and they followed it up with a brilliant try. Marcel Garvey made a superb break in his own half and raced up the pitch, off-loading to Walker who then passed to Kai Horstmann to score. Walker missed the conversion though, leaving his side two points adrift.

Arscott kicked a penalty in the 52nd minute to stretch the gap to a crucial five points for Bristol, deciding to go for the three points close to the poles rather than risk going for the try. Robinson secured Bristol’s first try bonus point of the season five minutes later, touching down in the corner after a strong run. The conversion went abegging so Bristol had a 25-15 lead.

Bristol replacement Haydn Thomas bagged their fifth try in the 62nd minute, soaring over in the left corner after some breat work by the backs. Barnes missed the conversion again though, his fifth miss of the match. Walker reduced the gap by three a minute later by slotting a penalty, making it 30-18.

Robinson’s second try came after the hooter had sounded and Barnes made good with the conversion to secure a very convincing win for the home side and reduce the gap at the bottom to nine points.

Final Score Bristol 37 Worcester 18


Tries: Tom Arscott, Junior Fatialofa, Mariano Sambucetti, Lee Robinson (2), Haydn Thomas
Conv: Ed Barnes (2)
Pen: Tom Arscott

Tries: Dale Rasmussen, Kai Horstmann
Conv: Willie Walker
Pen: Willie Walker (2)


Worcester Warriors : Walker Garvey Gear Rasmussen Benjamin Jones Powell Mullan Fortey Morris Rawlinson Bowley Wood Sanderson Horstmann

Replacements: Black Lutui Kitchener Collins Arr Crichton Grove

Bristol: T Arscott Robinson Brew Fatialofa Lem

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