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Bristol give Premiership leaders a rugby lesson

PREMIERSHIP FRIDAY WRAP: English Premiership leaders Northampton suffered a shock 21-52 thrashing against Bristol on Friday to end their six-match unbeaten run.


On their return to domestic action after the eight-week break for the Six Nations tournament, Northampton looked rusty in a woeful display at Ashton Gate.

It was Northampton’s first league defeat since November and they could have no complaints after Bristol stormed clear through tries from Joe Batley and Harry Randall in the early stages.

Flyhalf AJ MacGinty added two conversions and a penalty before second-half scores from Kyle Sinckler, James Dun, Gabriel Ibitoye, Max Malins and Fred Davies.

MacGinty kicked four more conversions and James Williams booted one, as Bristol secured a bonus-point triumph.

Bristol’s victory kept them in with a fighting chance of reaching the play-offs, but it was a night to forget for Northampton, whose points came via two Ollie Sleightholme tries, a Jake Garside touchdown and three Fin Smith conversions.

Stephen Varney’s late try gave Gloucester a dramatic 27-25 victory over Leicester.


Seven days on from beating the Tigers in the Premiership Rugby Cup Final, Gloucester recorded their first league win on their travels since October.

Jamie Shillcock’s score had put Leicester on track to climb to second in the table after they recovered from a 14-point deficit, but they instead they dropped a place to seventh thanks to Varney’s last-gasp intervention.

Springbok No.8 Jasper Wiese was also one of Leicester’s try-scorers.

See below for Friday’s scores and scorers:

Bristol Bears 52-21 Northampton Saints

The scorers:


For Bristol:
Tries: Batley, Randall, Sinckler, Dun, Malins, Davies, Ibitoye
Cons: MacGinty 6, Williams
Pen: MacGinty

For Northampton:
Tries: Sleightholme 2, Garside
Cons: Smith 3


Bristol: 15 Noah Heward, 14 Gabriel Ibitoye, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 James Williams, 11 Siva Naulago, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Magnus Bradbury, 7 Fitz Harding (captain), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Joe Batley, 4 James Dun, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Fred Davies, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Joe Owen, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Kalaveti Ravouvou, 23 Max Malins.

Northampton: 15 George Hendy, 14 James Ramm, 13 Burger Odendaal, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Ollie Sleightholme, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Archie McParland, 8 Sam Graham, 7 Lewis Ludlam (captain), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Alex Coles, 4 Temo Mayanavanua, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Emmanuel Iyogun.
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Tom Lockett, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Jake Garside, 22 Fraser Dingwall, 23 Tom Litchfield.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: John Meredith, Tom Foley
TMO: Rowan Kitt

Leicester Tigers 25-27 Gloucester

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Reffell, Kata, Wiese, Shillcock
Con: Shillcock
Pen: Shillcock

For Gloucester:
Tries: Mercer, Harris, Varney
Cons: Carreras 3
Pens: Carreras 2


Leicester: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Josh Bassett, 13 Dan Kelly, 12 Solomone Kata, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Julián Montoya (captain), 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Finn Theobald-Thomas, 17 James Whitcombe, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Kyle Hatherell, 20 Olly Cracknell, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Jamie Shillcock, 23 Phil Cokanasiga.

Gloucester: 15 Lloyd Evans, 14 Jonny May, 13 Max Llewellyn, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Josh Hathaway, 10 Santi Carreras, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Jack Clement, 6 Ruan Ackermann (captain), 5 Cam Jordan, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Seb Blake, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Replacements: 16 Adam McBurney, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Arthur Clark, 20 Freddie Thomas, 21 Albert Tuisue, 22 Charlie Chapman, 23 Chris Harris.

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Hamish Smales, Jamie Leahy
TMO: David Rose

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