FULL-TIME: Bristol Rugby 61 Cardiff 12
FULL-TIME: Bristol Rugby 61 Cardiff 12
NINE-TRY Bristol destroyed Cardiff on a bitterly cold night at the Memorial Stadium to set up a home British & Irish Cup quarter-final.
Liam Middleton’s team went into the match needing one point to reach the last eight – and a win of any kind to secure a home fixture in the quarter-finals.
And they responded by producing an emphatic attacking display against a pitiful Cardiff side, who were outclassed in every facet of play.
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Bristol’s victory – in which seven different players scored tries and Tristan Roberts kicked eight of his nine conversions, missing only the last one – ensured they ended their pool campaign having won all six matches.
Ben Mosses and George Watkins both crossed twice, while Roberts, Rhys Lawrence, Wayne Thompson, Ruki Tipuna and Fautua Otto also scored tries as Bristol ran riot.
Bristol led 35-0 after what must have been one of the most one-sided halves of rugby at this level for many years. Cardiff were unable to cope with Bristol’s pace, power, athleticism and urgency, as the hosts guaranteed their progress to the last eight by wrapping up a bonus point by the break.
Their first try arrived on eight minutes, Mosses racing through the middle to score after Tipuna’s sharp work following a scrum. Roberts then tore through from the 22 to score, having seconds earlier had a let-off when a Cardiff player knocked on when he was intercepted.
Hooker Lawrence capped a lengthy spell of Bristol pressure in the Cardiff 22 when he went over from close range, before Bristol’s path to the next round was secured when prop Thompson burrowed over for his third try for the club.
Watkins then got on the scoresheet when he finished off a slick backs move, in which Otto and Jack Tovey were heavily involved, with Roberts’ conversion making it 35-0 at the break.
Cardiff hit back three minutes after half-time, scoring their first try of the game through former Bristol academy player Will Thomas.
But it was not to spark a revival, with Tipuna picking up and going over from close range after visiting flanker James Murphy had been yellow-carded for entering a ruck from the side.
Otto then ran across the field to score in the corner, before a stunning pass from Mosses to Watkins set up the winger for his second try, bringing up the half century of points for Bristol.
Mosses then got a second try himself, taking Lawrence’s pass after George Biagi’s initial break was halted, before Bristol took their foot off the gas in the final ten minutes with the contest having long been won.
Cardiff full-back Joe Griffin went over in the corner in the closing minutes, converting his own try, but his late intervention could not save Cardiff’s embarrassment or hinder the emphatic nature of Bristol’s victory.
Bristol: J Tovey; G Watkins, F Otto (J Goodridge 64), B Mosses, R Edwards; T Roberts, R Tipuna (capt); B Douglas, R Lawrence (T Channon 76), W Thompson (M Lilley 57), B Glynn, G Townson, A Faosiliva (G Biagi 57), J Merriman, M Mama. Reps not used: R Pennycook, J Grindal, A Jarvis.
Scorers: Tries – Mosses (2), Roberts, Lawrence, Thompson, Watkins (2), Tipuna, Otto. Cons – Roberts (8).
Cardiff: J Griffin; J Phillips, M Woodward, W Thomas, I Evans (S Powell 57); J Thomas (J Davies 57), A Walker; C Ma’afu, A Fowler (capt; J Dunleavy 69), R James (L Smout 59), D Partridge (D Apsee 57), M Screech, N White, J Murphy (R Luckwell 6-19), A Lee (R Luckwell 41). Rep not used: G Lucas.
Scorers: Tries – W Thomas., Griffin. Con – Griffin.
Sin-binned: Murphy (48-59).
Referee: G Conway. Att: 2,013.