Connacht continue good form by getting the better of Pat Lam’s Bristol

Connacht’s Robin Copeland under pressure from Bristol’s Luke Daniels and Harry Thacker. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Bristol Bears 12
Connacht 14

John Fallon reports from Ashton Gate

CONNACHT CONTINUED THEIR excellent pre-season with a third win in a row since Andy Friend took charge as a star-studded Bristol side were put to the sword.

It was no more than Connacht deserved for a fine display and they will head into the Pro14 next weekend full of confidence

Connacht enjoyed the greater possession in the first half but still went in trailing 5-0 at the break.

This was the final preparation match for both teams, with Friend’s Connacht taking on Glasgow Warriors next weekend while Pat Lam’s Bristol open with a huge derby clash with Bath.

It was a useful workout for both sides at Ashton Gate on a rainy evening in Bristol in front of a small crowd.

Bristol are the big spenders in the Premiership this season but the difference in budget wasn’t apparent during the opening half. Connacht did the early pressing, with centres Kyle Godwin and Tom Farrell impressing, but Bristol’s defence was good.

Bristol defence coach John Muldoon and head coach Pat Lam before the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Bristol made their first attack count, with full-back Luke Daniels — signed after impressing for Ealing Trailfinders against Lam’s men in February — crossing after 15 minutes. Ian Madigan was unable to land the conversion from the left.

The second half was a more fluid affair, with Matt Healy sliding over for a fine try in the left corner after 45 minutes which was superbly converted by Jack Carty.

Academy product Andy Uren hit back for Bristol, before Madigan converted to leave Bristol leading 12-7 after 51 minutes.

However, good pressure by Friend’s men produced a first ever Connacht try for promising flanker Paul Boyle after a tapped penalty. Craig Ronaldson converted to make it 14-12 to Connacht.

Bristol, who lost their major summer signing Charles Piutau to a worrying shoulder injury, fought back but couldn’t find a way through a disciplined Connacht defence.

Bristol Bears scorers:

Tries: L Daniels, A Uren

Conversions: I Madigan

Connacht scorers:

Tries: M Healy, P Boyle

Conversions: J Carty, C Ronaldson

Bristol Bears

15. Luke Daniels
14. Luke Morahan
13. Alapati Leiua
12. Siale Piutau
11. Ryan Edwards
10. Ian Madigan
9. Nic Stirzaker

1. Yann Thomas
2. Harry Thacker
3. John Afoa
4. Ed Holmes
5. Joe Latta
6. Steven Luatua (captain)
7. George Smith
8. Jack Lam

Replacements used:

16. Nick Fenton-Wells
17. Jake Woolmore
18. Jake Armstrong
19. Chris Vui
20. Jordan Crane
21. Andy Uren
22. Callum Sheedy
23. Charles Piutau
24. Piers O’Conor


15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Cian Kelleher
13. Kyle Godwin
12. Tom Farrell
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. James Mitchell

Click Here: River Plate soccer tracksuit

1. Denis Buckley
2. Dave Heffernan (captain)
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. James Cannon
6. James Connolly
7. Paul Boyle
8. Robin Copeland

Replacements used:

Shane Delahunt
Peter McCabe
Conor Carey
Joe Maksymiw
Cillian Gallagher
Conor McKeon
Craig Ronaldson
Niyi Adeolokun
Eoin Griffin
Quinn Roux

Referee: Karl Dickson (RFU)

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *