Bristol stretch their lead at the top
PREMIERSHIP MATCH REPORT: Leaders Bristol made light of their injury problems with a long-awaited 37-20 win over Wasps on Friday.
In the process, they moved 11 points clear at the summit of English club rugby.
It was the first time since September 2006 that southwest side Bristol had defeated Wasps, with this win extending their lead over second-placed reigning champions Exeter, who face Harlequins on Saturday.
But with the champions decided by play-off matches involving the top four at the end of the regular season, the destiny of the title remains uncertain.
Wasps took an early 10-point lead thanks to a Sione Vailanu try but Bristol hit back through Piers O’Conor’s try and three penalties from fourth-choice flyhalf Tiff Eden.
Joe Joyce powered his way over for another Bristol try on the hour mark before Niyi Adeolokun crossed in the corner to put the Bears further ahead.
Josh Bassett’s try reduced Wasps’ deficit but Chris Vui earned Bristol a last-gasp bonus point.
Tries: O’Connor, Joyce, Adeolokun, Vui
Cons: Eden 4
Pens: Eden 3
Tries: Vailanu, Bassett
Cons: Gopperth 2
Pens: Gopperth 2
Bristol: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Henry Purdy, 12 Piers O’Conor, 11 Siva Naulago, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Dan Thomas, 6 Steven Luatua (captain), 5 Joe Joyce, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Bryan Byrne, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 John Afoa, 19 Chris Vui, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Charlie Powell, 23 Toby Fricker.
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Will Porter, 8 Sione Vailanu, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 James Gaskell, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 1 Tom West.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Jack Owlett, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Tom Willis, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Michael Le Bourgeois, 23 Matteo Minozzi.
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald & Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: Rowan Kitt.