Bristol trounce Zebre with 59-21 victory in Challenge Cup opener

Pat Lam's side got off to a winning start
Pat Lam's side got off to a winning start

Bristol Bears 59-21 Zebre, Ashton Gate

Ioan Lloyd contributed with 22 points as Bristol Bears kick-started their Challenge Cup with a 59-21 win over Zebre at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

It took Zebre just seven minutes to get the first points on board with Mattia Bellini crossing over and Carlo Canna followed with a conversion.

Nevertheless, Bristol took control of the game as they responded back with tries from Will Capon (15'), Toby Fricker (18'), Piers O'Connor (23') and Lloyd (25'). Lloyd also kicked all four conversions and a penalty goal as they increased the lead to 31-7.

The home side finished the first half with a 31 point lead as Dan Thomas also dotted down at the stroke of half-time and they extended the momentum into the second half with Yann Thomas crossing the whitewash in the 45th minute making the scoreline 45-7.

Bristol suffered a setback when Ed Holmes was sin-binned in the 54th minute allowing an opening for the visitors as Apisai Tauyavuca dived over the line and indiscipline affected the hosts once again with this time James Dun yellow-carded in the 68th minute that also resulted in a penalty try for Zebre.

However, Bristol ensured they finished the game strong with further tries from Charlie Powell and Andy Uren in the closing stage that saw them complete a 38 point victory.


2018-19 European Rugby Challenge Cup Points Table