Match Centre: Bristol Bears 37-21 Newcastle Falcons

Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam
Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam
©Steve Haag

Bristol Bears 37-21 Newcastle Falcons, Ashton Gate

Andy Uren scored a double as Bristol Bears managed to overcome three yellow cards to beat Newcastle Falcons 37-21 in the 15th round of the Gallagher Premiership at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

This is fourth consecutive win for Bristol as they climb to the 10th place in the table while Newcastle Falcons are positioned 11th after losing their eighth game.

Uren got Bristol off to a flying start as Piers O'Conor provided the break for him to touchdown in the third minute and seven minutes later Luke Morahan's kick was gathered by Siva Naulago, who scored their second try. Tom Whiteley kicked the conversions on both the occasions as they raced to a 14-0 lead.

Pat Lam's side soon got their third try as Morahan sped past the defence of the Falcons to dot down and Whiteley kicked the extras ensuring they went on to score 21 unanswered points in the opening quarter.

The response from the Falcons came in the 22nd minute as he stepped past a couple of defenders chasing his own kick to touchdown and Will Haydon-Wood kicked the extras to make it 21-7. The bonus point for Bristol came in the 26th minute as Whiteley combined with Leiua to send the latter over the line.

Whiteley got the conversion right for the fourth successive time as Bristol stretched their lead to 28-7 but they were reduced to 14 players temporarily heading into the break as Dave Attwood and captain Joe Joyce was yellow carded for repeated infringements that also resulted in a penalty try for the visitors as the teams went into the break with a 28-14 lead.

The start of the second half saw Newcastle's Mike Brown yellow carded by referee Matthew Carley allowing Whiteley to kick a penalty making it 31-14 before Nwinger Adam Radwan broke into space on the right, off-loading to Nathan Earle as he dotted down to make it 31-21.

Nevertheless, the Falcons could not get any more breakthrough despite Bristol losing Steven Luatua to yellow card in the 76th minute and instead Whiteley kicked two more penalties as Pat Lam's side went on to complete a 16-point victory.

Team line up:

Bristol Bears: Morahan; Naulago, Radradra, O'Conor, Purdy, Whiteley, Uren; Woolmore, Byrne, Lahiff, Attwood, Joyce, Vui, D. Thomas, Harding.

Reserves: Thacker, Y. Thomas, Afoa, Jeffries, Luatua, Eden, Frisch, Leiua.

Newcastle: Brown, Radwan, Orlando, Lucock, Earle, Haydon-Wood, Stuart; Brocklebank, McGuigan, Tampin, Peterson, Robinson, Graham, Welch, Chick.

Reserves: Smith, Cade, Davison, Basham, Collett, Nordli-Kelemeti, Connon, Penny.

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

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