Planet Rugby

Bristol blow golden chance

01st March 2009 17:13

Share:

Bristol's Premiership status took a step beyond the tenuous on Sunday after they let a 14-10 lead against Harlequins slip in the Guinness Premiership.

England wing Ugo Monye broke Bristol hearts by sinking the Guinness Premiership relegation favourites with an injury-time try.

Monye, a second-half substitute, struck after Bristol went 14-10 ahead through a 73rd-minute penalty try.

It denied the Premiership's bottom club only their second league victory of the season as they began life without Richard Hill.

A battling display at the Memorial Stadium saw Bristol move ahead after wing David Lemi was barged off the ball as he chased a kick behind Quins' line.

Hill, whose six-year reign as head coach ended on Friday, has seen his long-time assistant Paul Hull take over in the coaching hot seat.

And while Hull looks as though he will be presiding over a National League One club next season unless his players can muster an unlikely fightback, he can take heart from a committed effort.

A losing bonus point proved scant reward from a game that leaves Bristol 12 points behind 11th-placed Worcester with just seven Premiership fixtures left.

Bristol led at half-time thanks to a converted Neil Brew try, but England wing David Strettle's touchdown within two minutes of the restart edged Quins ahead.

And they just did enough to shade the contest, claiming a win which lifts them into fourth place above Leicester and Bath.

Bristol suffered an unsettling start, losing fly-half Adrian Jarvis in the third minute with a leg injury as Quins monopolised possession, freeing wings Strettle and Tom Williams at regular intervals.

But the Bristol defence, despite being stretched, denied Quins during an opening quarter the visitors dominated in terms of territory.

And Bristol then stung the visitors by scoring a try from their first notable attack.

Wing Lee Robinson's powerful break scattered three Quins defenders, and when the ball was moved wide, hooker David Blaney delivered a scoring pass to Brew.

Barnes' touchline conversion made it 7-0, but Quins responded within eight minutes when former England scrum-half Andy Gomarsall sent hooker Gary Botha on a 15-metre run to the line.

The South African bundled Bristol scrum-half Shaun Perry out of his path, claiming a try that brought Quins back to within two points, yet their early fluency had been stalled by Bristol's impressive organisation.

Malone missed the conversion before Barnes rifled a penalty wide, but with number eight Dan Ward-Smith enjoying a productive game in the loose, Bristol continued to generate momentum.

And a 7-5 interval lead was a deserved reward, given they had nullified the threat of Quins' early wide game by making their tackles count.

Quins though, required little time to wipe out Bristol's lead, moving ahead in the 42nd minute when Perry spilled possession inside his own 22, Malone sending Strettle sprinting away.

Neither side could establish a firm grip on the contest and with the scrums proving a mess for referee Chris White, his patience finally snapped 12 minutes from time.

Bristol tighthead prop Darren Crompton and his opposite number Ceri Jones were both sin-binned, but the home side then went ahead seven minutes from time.

Lemi, comfortably the biggest attacking threat in either side, launched a superb kick and chase to the corner.

He was denied the touchdown, yet White awarded a penalty try on the recommendation of his assistant after a Quins player pushed Lemi as the Samoan attempted to touch down.

Barnes added the extras, and then it was a case of whether or not Bristol could keep their nerve and preserve a four-point lead.

It was no surprise that a team short on confidence could not quite manage it, as Monye struck the killer blow before Malone converted and lifted the Londoners into play-off territory.

The scorers:

For Bristol:

Tries: Brew, penalty try

Con: Barnes 2

For Harlequins:

Tries: Botha, Strettle, Monye

Con: Malone

Bristol: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Lee Robinson, 13 Neil Brew, 12 Luke Eves, 11 David Lemi, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Joe El Abd (capt), 6 Redford Pennycook, 5 Nathan Budgett, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Darren Crompton, 2 David Blaney, 1 Mark Irish.

Replacements: 16 Scott Linklater, 17 Wayne Thompson, 18 Roy Winters, 19 Alfie To'oala, 20 Haydn Thomas, 21 Ed Barnes, 22 Nathan Brew.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 David Strettle, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Tom Williams, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Will Skinner (captain), 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Ceri Jones.

Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Jim Evans, 19 Neil McMillan, 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 Nick Evans, 22 Ugo Monye.

Referee: Chris White

Touch judges: Robin Goodliffe, Stuart Terheege

Assessor: Ed Morrison

Television match official: Matt Peters

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821