Full-time: Bristol Rugby 12 Leeds Carnegie 9
BRISTOL Rugby beat Leeds Carnegie at a sodden Memorial Stadium to move above the Yorkshiremen and into fourth place in the Championship table.
In a game Bristol had earmarked as crucial to their hopes of finishing inside the play-off places, Adrian Jarvis kicked four first-half penalties to see the hosts into a 12-0 half-time lead.
Leeds rallied after the break, scoring three penalties through Rory Clegg, who also hit the post with a long-range drop-goal attempt and rattled the outside of the left-hand post with a penalty as the visitors pressed.
But Bristol, whose scrummaging was superb throughout, finished the game on top and closed out victory without too many late scares to edge above both Leeds and Cornish Pirates, whose trip to Newcastle was postponed.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Bristol took a seventh-minute lead through Jarvis after Leeds, who had started brightly, ended up pinned back in their own 22. The fly-half then doubled Bristol's lead from 25 metres when a Leeds man was penalised for not rolling away from a tackle.
A strong wind was blowing the length of the pitch, and Bristol took advantage in the first half, with Jarvis making it 9-0 on 24 minutes after Leeds lock Dominic Barrow saw yellow for a high tackle that left Bristol centre Ben Mosses needing treatment.
Bristol were dominating the scrum, winning four consecutive scrums against the head, while their line-out coughed and spluttered. They enjoyed control of the opening period, and Jarvis kicked them into a 12-0 half-time lead when Leeds were spotted entering a ruck from the side.
But, with the wind still a factor, Leeds' fortunes changed after the break. Due to the conditions, there was never going to be anything close to a repeat of the free-scoring match at Headingley in September, which Leeds won 50-31.
Instead, the 4,070 spectators inside the Memorial Stadium were greeted to a tense, gritty match, that Leeds brought to life when on-loan fly-half Clegg made it 12-3 from 35 metres shortly after half-time.
He then hit the post with a long-range drop-goal attempt, and did the same with a penalty, as Bristol rode their luck. Clegg made no mistake from 25 metres to make it 12-6 on 50 minutes – and when he made it 12-9, after referee JP Doyle reversed a penalty, Bristol would have been well within their rights to be flustered.
But they finished the game on top, with scrum-half replacement Ruki Tipuna making an instant impact. Leeds hooker Joe Graham was sin-binned for killing the ball just three minutes after replacing Phil Nilsen – and his departure helped Bristol regain their earlier authority.
The hosts enjoyed several scrums close to the Leeds line in the closing minutes. And, although they could not force a way over, they finished the game on top to secure what could prove to be a crucial four Championship points.
Bristol: J Tovey; G Watkins, L Eves, B Mosses (T Roberts 24-27), R Edwards; A Jarvis, J Grindal (capt; R Tipuna 61); K Traynor (M Lilley 80), R Johnston, J Hobson, M Sambucetti (B Glynn 61), G Townson, M Mama, R Pennycook, M Eadie. Reps not used: R Lawrence, W Thompson, A Faosiliva.
Scorers: Pens – Jarvis (4).
Leeds: S McColl; M Clark (P Nilsen 67-76), J Griffin, P Lucock, D Doherty; R Clegg, C Hampson (J Doherty 51); S Lockwood (B Harris 76), P Nilsen (J Graham 63), D Tussac, C Green (M Smith 76), D Barrow (M Myerscough 55), R Baldwin, J Rowan (capt), R Burrows. Reps not used: B Hooper, C Georgiou.
Scorers: Pens – Clegg (3).
Sin-binned: Barrow (21-35, high tackle); Graham (66-76, killing the ball).
Referee: JP Doyle. Att: 4,070.