Match Centre: Gloucester Rugby 17-18 Bristol Bears

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

Gloucester Rugby 17-18 Bristol Bears, Kingsholm

Ioan Lloyd kicked the decisive penalty goal in the 75th minute as Bristol Bears edged out Gloucester Rugby 18-17 in the ninth round of the Gallagher Premiership at Kingsholm.

This is eighth defeat for Gloucester in nine games as they languish at the bottom of the table while Bristol are at the top with 34 points.

Bristol were the first to get the points after hooker Bryan Byrne went over the line at the back of a driving line out in the third minute later but the visitors suffered a double injury blow three minutes later.

Try-scorer Byrne had to leave the field with a leg injury while Henry Purdy joined him on the sidelines limping off.

The response from Gloucester came in the 11th minute when Santiago Carreras intercepted a pass from Piers O’Conor to dot down and Billy Twelvetrees kicked the conversion to take them to a 7-5 lead.

Injuries continued to hamper both the sides with this time Gloucester's Matias Alemanno and Bristol's Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro were replaced in the 17th and 23rd minutes respectively.

Carreras soon got his second try with this time he intercepted a pass from Siale Piutau and touched down in the 26th minute to extend Gloucester's lead to 12-5.

However, both the teams went into the break unseparated when Dave Attwood set up Jake Heenan as he dived over the line in the 33rd minute followed by Lloyd's conversion.

Both the teams were desperate for an early advantage in the second half but it was the Cherry and Whites, who seized the lead back after Mark Atkinson made a perfect pass for Ollie Thorley to touchdown but the conversion went wide.

Lloyd kicked his maiden penalty goal at the end of the third quarter to bring Bristol's deficit to two points but shortly they lost Nathan Hughes to injury. The game entered the final 10 minutes with all the results possible and in the end Lloyd with a three-pointer in a 45metre distance ensured Pat Lam's side sealed a thrilling one point victory.

Team line-up:

Gloucester: Woodward; Carreras, Trinder, Atkinson, Thorley; Twelvetrees, Heinz; Rapava-Ruskin, Walker, Balmain, Garvey, Alemanno, Gibson, Ludlow, Clarke.

Reserves: Socino, Seville, Ford-Robinson, Craig, Morgan, Chapman, Kveseladze, Moyle.

Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Morahan, O'Conor, S Piutau, Purdy; Lloyd, Uren; Chaparro, Byrne, Afoa, Attwood, Vui, Heenan, Thomas, Hughes.

Reserves: Capon, Woolmore, Armstrong, Holmes, Harding, Kessell, Bedlow, Leiua.

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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