Bristol Bears carried their EPCR Challenge Cup form into the Gallagher Premiership as they clung on for a 15-12 victory at Harlequins on Tuesday.
Bristol triumphed in both of their opening EPCR Challenge Cup games earlier this month, seeing off USAP (19-5) and Zebre Parma (35-19) in Pool A, but hadn’t won in the Premiership since September coming into yesterday’s game.
But the 2020 Challenge Cup winners enjoyed an impressive start against Heineken Champions Cup opponents at Twickenham Stoop, with AJ MacGinty nudging an early penalty before Harry Thacker drove over.
What a weekend, here's how the #ChallengeCup pools stand after 2️⃣ rounds 🔥
See you in January! 🥳#ChallengeCupRugby pic.twitter.com/WleofkBziU
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) December 18, 2022
Quins hit back with a try midway through the first half, but Gabriel Ibitoye finished superbly for Bristol’s second and sent them into the break 10 points up.
The visitors’ advantage was eventually cut to three points as Quins crossed again in the second half, Ibitoye having produced a brilliant try-saving tackle shortly after restart.
And despite being reduced to 14 men in the closing stages as Ibitoye was sin-binned, Bristol held on for the victory, much thanks to an incredible tap-tackle from MacGinty in the dying seconds.
Bristol have one more domestic contest before they return to EPCR Challenge Cup action next month, travelling to Zebre Parma in Round 3 on January 14.