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Bristol Bears could give their Challenge Cup knockout stage hopes a much-needed boost on Saturday if they can defeat Enisei-STM at Yug Stadium in Sochi.
- This will be the first meeting between Enisei-STM and Bristol Bears, however, Enisei have hosted Gallagher Premiership opposition on three occasions, winning two of those clashes.
- Enisei won four of their first five home games in the Challenge Cup, however,they have lost six in a row at home since then.
- Bristol won their last away game, beating La Rochelle in Round 4, and will be aiming to record consecutive victories on the road for the first time since 2006 when they beat Bucharest Wolves and Bayonne.
- Enisei have slotted 91% of their kicks at goal this season (10/11), only Bordeaux-Begles (93%) have a better rate after four rounds.
- Enisei’s Mikheil Gachechiladze has made the most carries (53) and tackles (74) of any player this season.
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) January 8, 2019
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Bristol Bears head into the final round of Pool 4 games in the European Rugby Challenge Cup with their quarter-final hopes alive after an 11-try demolition of their Russian opponents.
The Bears were dominant from the outset and Enisei, who have lost all five of their games in the competition, had only three first-half penalties from fly-half Ramil Gaisin to show for their toils.
The rampant visitors ran in 11 tries in all with hooker Nick Fenton-Wells notching a hat-trick of tries in a fine individual effort.
Driving lineout makes good ground and hooker grabs his third with 🎱 minutes left to play.
Sheedy converts. ✅
🇷🇺 9-60 🐻 (72 mins). pic.twitter.com/hcuIAYsc9K
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) January 12, 2019
Fenton-Wells grabbed his first touchdown in the opening half to add to efforts by centre Piers O’Conor, forward duo Joe Joyce and Nick Haining plus the pick of the bunch from speedy full-back Mat Protheroe.
Bristol quickly added to their 27-9 half-time advantage with Jake Armstrong and Fenton-Wells crossing in quick succession.
Enisei-STM had no answer as the Bears hit top gear to add further tries from Sam Graham, Tom Pincus, Fenton-Wells and a second for O’Conor with Callum Sheedy landing five conversions.
The sides do battle again at Ashton Gate, Bristol next Saturday when the Bears will hope to confirm their progress to the knockout stages.