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Bristol look to continue unbeaten run

Wednesday 18th January 2023

2:14 pm (GMT)

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Bristol look to continue unbeaten run

Semi Radradra of Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears look to underline their qualification for the knockout stages of the EPCR Challenge Cup as they face USAP in Round 4.

The Bears are unbeaten in the competition so far this season – while USAP are on a seven-match losing streak in all competitions.

In last month’s reverse fixture, Bristol Bears came out on top on the road, winning 5-19 – and they come in off the back of a great win over Zebre Parma in Round 3, 11-34.

The Pool A match kicks off at Ashton Gate at 8pm UK and Irish time, and can be watched on epcrugby.tv or FloRugby.

Bristol Bears

  • Harry Thacker scored the second hat-trick of the competition in Round 3 against Zebre Parma. Three of the last four hat-tricks in the EPCR Challenge Cup have been scored by hookers.
  • Callum Sheedy has missed four kicks at goal – as many as any other player, with a success rate of 43 per cent.
  • Fitz Harding has conceded three penalties in the tackle – a competition high.

USAP

  • USAP have the second-lowest rate of gainline success in the competition at 49 per cent.
  • Perpignan’s ball retention rate at the maul is just 62.5 per cent. Only CA Brive have a worse record.

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Bristol end pool stage in style

Friday 20th January 2023

10:56 pm (GMT)

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Bristol end pool stage in style

Ellis Genge scored two tries for Bristol Bears in their EPCR Challenge Cup victory over USAP.

Bristol Bears picked up a 33-19 bonus-point win over USAP at Ashton Gate on Friday as they ended their EPCR Challenge Cup Pool A campaign in style.

Bristol scored five tries, with Ellis Genge going over twice while Harry Randall, Dan Thomas and Siva Naulago also crossed, all in the first half.

USAP, meanwhile, scored three: Ali Crossdale, Nino Seguela and Valentin Moro all went over for the visiting French side, who are now out of the competition.

Despite their dominance, Bristol fell behind early when Crossdale went over for USAP on 11 minutes, Matteo Rodor kicking the first of his two conversions in the game.

But that lead lasted all of three minutes, with Randall going over for the home side and AJ MacGinty converting.

That score ignited a salvo of tries, as Bristol crossed secured the bonus point before the half hour mark, Genge picking up his first try to give Bristol the lead on 20 minutes.

MacGinty converted that one too, as he did Thomas’ 23rd minute cross. In fact, he only missed one conversion, when Naulago went over on 27 minutes.

Not satisfied with four tries, Genge scored Bristol’s fifth and his second with the first-half clock in the red, but that would prove their final points of the match.

USAP, knowing that their needed victory was not forthcoming, went out guns blazing in the second period and were rewarded when Seguela went over for an unconverted try in the 47th minute.

They scored their third not long after, Valentin Moro going over before Matteo Rodor kicked the extras, though there would be not improbable turnaround for the visitors.

Bristol are now confirmed as fifth-place finishers in Pool A and will wait to find out their Round of 16 opponents. The defeat means USAP are out of the competition, having lost all four pool games.

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