Talking point: Bristol Rugby 29 Cornish Pirates 17
BRISTOL Rugby were deserved and – in the end – quite comfortable winners against Cornish Pirates at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.
But the most impressive and, given Bristol's injury list, surprising aspect of the victory was the hosts' strength in depth when it really mattered.
Trailing 17-16 with 15 minutes to go, Liam Middleton sent on Ruki Tipuna, Tristan Roberts and Iain Grieve. And this is a squad who are supposedly struggling with injuries.
Tipuna and Roberts grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck and began to turn it back in Bristol's direction. Two Roberts penalties saw a one-point deficit become a five-point lead, before Tipuna's brilliant solo run, from deep inside his own half, paved the way for Matt Williams to sprint in and make the victory secure with a late try.
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Roberts, for good measure, nailed the difficult wide conversion to give his side a 12-point victory against a team they are more than likely to face on home soil again this season.
Last season's calamitous Championship semi-final defeat in Penzance is now a thing of the past, and, increasingly, Bristol's injury "problems" are going the same way.
Were you at the Memorial Stadium today? What did you think of the match?