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Bristol bid to overturn history

Thursday 12th December 2019

11:30 am (GMT)

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Bristol bid to overturn history

Bristol Bears back Luke Morahan, who has made the most breaks in the European Rugby Challenge Cup this season

Bristol Bears, the only team in the European Rugby Challenge Cup with a maximum 15 points from their three games this season, will need to overturn history at Stade Francais Paris on Saturday if they are to continue that magnificent run.

Each of the clubs’ three meetings has been won by the home side – including last week’s match at Ashton Gate, where the runaway Pool 4 leaders triumphed 37-11.

Key facts

  • Although Stade lost their last home game in the Challenge Cup, they have never lost consecutive home matches in the same European campaign.
  • Bristol top the charts for most points, tries, defenders beaten, tackles and turnovers in this season’s Challenge Cup.
  • Bristol’s Harry Thacker and Charles Piutau were Round 3 leaders in tackles and carries respectively in the competition.

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Bristol almost there after late win at Stade

Saturday 14th December 2019

10:26 pm (GMT)

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Bristol almost there after late win at Stade

Harry Thacker’s try with three minutes to go seized a narrow victory for Bristol Bears at Stade Jean Bouin which virtually assures them a quarter-final place in the European Challenge Cup.

With a ten-point lead now over Brive in Pool 4, the Bears are all-but through, but they didn’t have it easy against Stade Francais, for whom defeat confirms their elimination.

After Callum Sheedy’s early penalty for Bristol, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu blasted through the tackle of Piers O’Connor to cross the line after a lengthy period of pressure from the hosts.┬áNicolas Sanchez added the conversion.

After Pablo Matera was yellow carded for Stade on 27 minutes, Bristol’s forwards capitalised and barged over the line after a lineout, with Will Capon emerging from the pile of bodies with ball in hand. The conversion hit the post though, giving Stade a 10-8 half time lead.

Joris Segonds booted a penalty after a Bristol infringement at the scrum to stretch the hosts’ lead to 16-11 with 20 minutes left, and they held on to it until three minutes from time.

Bristol were held up twice right on the try line but eventually Thacker surged over just left of the posts, making Sheedy’s task to slot the match-winning conversion a simple one.

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