Planet Rugby

Bristol move away from the foot

21st October 2007 18:00

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Jason Strange Bristol

Jason Strange: Bristol's new record points scorer

Bristol got themselves into a strong mid-table position on Sunday with a five-try 39-13 win over Leeds at the Memorial Ground in the Guinness Premiership.

Jason Strange kicked 12 points to steer Bristol to victory and set a new club record, surpassing the 637 scored by Mark Tainton in his 10-year career at the Memorial Stadium.

The defeat left Leeds without a win on the road in the Guinness Premiership since November 2005 and just one victory to their credit since regaining their place in the top flight.

Bristol were forced to make a late change when Josh Taumalolo failed a fitness test with a strained hamstring. David Hill switched to full-back with Neil Brew promoted from the bench to play in the centre and Sam Cox added to the replacements.

Head coach Richard Hill also brought in David Blaney for his first league start in place of Scott Linklater at hooker.

Prop Mike MacDonald made his first start of the season for Leeds having been sidelined for two weeks with a rib injury suffered for the USA against eventual winners

South Africa in the Rugby World Cup.

Samoan prop Fosi Pala'amo reverted to tighthead in place of the injured Colin Noon while there was a rotation of the hookers with Rob Rawlinson starting. There was one change in the back line with Richard Welding replacing Leigh Hinton on the wing.

The home side wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with Strange, 34, passing back inside for Brew to touchdown. Strange added the extras only for Leeds to come back quickly as fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo landed a 40-metre penalty.

Leeds were forced to make two early changes with Welding and scrum-half Joe Bedford going off injured after 15 minutes.

Bristol began to apply the pressure and Strange added two penalties.

Leeds had opportunities to reduce the arrears but Di Bernardo, a summer signing from Cornish Pirates, was off target with two penalty attempts to leave Bristol leading 13-3 at the interval.

The visitors struck first after the break with Di Bernardo landing a drop goal but Bristol hit back with two converted tries when Leeds were reduced to 14 men as they attempted to defend their line and skipper Stuart Hooper was shown a yellow card for pulling down the maul.

From a series of driving mauls Andrew Blowers, on as a replacement for Dan Ward-Smith, crossed for Bristol's second try by the posts and the simple conversion from Strange set the new club record.

Strange set up a second try for Brew before again adding the extras.

Despite Leeds being restored to full strength, Bristol secured their first try bonus point of the season as wing Demi Lemi shrugged off a weak tackle to touchdown in the left corner.

Leeds replied as Tom Biggs intercepted a Lemi pass to race 70 metres to score under the posts.

Di Bernardo added the extras only for Bristol to respond immediately though Lemi's second try in the left corner.

Hill, who had taken over the kicking duties with Strange substituted, added the touchline conversion to seal the game.

The scorers:

For Bristol:

Tries: Brew 2, Blowers, Lemi 2

Cons: Strange 3, Hill

Pens: Strange 2

For Leeds:

Try: Biggs

Con: Di Bernado

Pen: Di Bernado

Drop goal: Di Bernado

Bristol: 15 Josh Taumalolo, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Rob Higgitt, 12 David Hill, 11 David Lemi, 10 Jason Strange, 9 Brian O'Riordan, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Alfie To'oala, 6 Matt Salter (c), 5 Sean Hohneck, 4 Roy Winters, 3 Jason Hobson, 2 David Blaney, 1 Darren Crompton,

Replacements: 16 Scott Linklater, 17 Dave Hilton, 18 Nathan Budgett, 19 Andrew Blowers, 20 Haydn Thomas, 21 Neil Brew, 22 Lee Robinson

Leeds: 15 Jon Goodridge, 14 Richard Welding, 13 Jonny Hepworth, 12 Lee Blackett, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Diego Albanese, 9 Joe Bedford, 8 Mark Lock, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Rhys Oakley, 5 Erik Lund, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Fosi Pala'amo, 2 Rob Rawlinson, 1 Mike MacDonald

Replacements: 16 Tommy McGee, 17 Vili Ma'asi, 18 Michael Cusack, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 James Brooks, 21 Andy Tuilagi, 22 Leigh Hinton

Referee: Martin Fox

Touch judges: Andrew Pearce, Peter Huckle

Television match official: Bob Ockenden

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