Match Centre: Gallagher Premiership: Bristol 52-21 Northampton

Harry Randall was one of the try scorer for Bristol Bears
Harry Randall was one of the try scorer for Bristol Bears
©Steve Haag

Bristol Bears 52-21 Northampton Saints, Ashton Gate

Bristol Bears ended a 10-game winning streak of Northampton Saints as they sealed a 52-21 victory in the 13th round of the Gallagher Premiership at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

Despite the defeat Northampton are at the top of the table with 44 points while Bristol have moved to the sixth position with 35 points.

Bristol got off to a terrific start as Archie McParland's box kick was charged down by Joe Batley, who went over the line in the 4th minute and AJ MacGinty followed with the conversion and a penalty goal to make it 10-0. They extended their lead further as MacGinty sent an inside pass for Harry Randall to touchdown. MacGinty also followed with the conversion to make it 17-0.

Their momentum took a beating as Bristol's Siva Naulago was sin-binned for a deliberate knock on and Northampton made use of the numerical advantage with Ollie Sleightholme exhibiting great pace to beat a number of defenders to touchdown. Fin Smith kicked the conversion as the gap narrowed down to 10 points.

MacGinty had a chance to increase Northampton's lead but his penalty goal drifted wide at the stroke of half time as the teams completed the opening half with a 17-7 scoreline.

Northampton were down to 14 players temporarily with Lewis Ludlam sin-binned and shortly Kyle Sinckler dived over from close range for their third try and MacGinty kicked the conversion to make it 24-7. The gap between the two sides continued to remain at 17 with Ollie Sleightholme and James Dun exchanging tries before Max Malins on his return from knee injury scored Bristol's fifth try in the 62nd minute making it 38-14.

Northampton had some consolation as a crossfield kick from Smith was collected by Jake Garside on his way over and but further tries from Freddie Davies and Gabriel Ibitoye as Bristol completed a dominating victory to revive their campaign.

Team line up:

Bristol: Heward, Naulago, Van Rensburg, Williams, Ibitoye, MacGinty, Randall; Y Thomas, Oghre, Sinckler, Dun, Batley, Luatua, Harding (c), Bradbury.

Reserves: Davies, Genge, Lahiff, Owen, Heenan, Marmion, Ravouvou, Malins.

Northampton: Hendy, Ramm, Odendaal, Hutchinson, Sleightholme, Smith, McParland; Iyogun, Matavesi, Davison, Mayanavanua, Coles, Lawes, Ludlam (c), Graham.

Reserves: Langdon, Waller, Hill, Lockett, Augustus, Garside, Dingwall, Litchfield.

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

The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?

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