Match Report: Bristol Rugby 47-13 Ulster A

Ulster A ended their British & Irish Cup campaign with a disappointing 47-13 defeat to English Championship side Bristol at Ashton Gate with the hosts scoring four tries in the process.

Two early tries from Lorcan Dow and the returning Stuart Olding put Ulster in the lead, but Bristol held the advantage at half-time through tries from Charlie Amesbury and the excellent Matthew Morgan.

After the break it was an even contest but in the last ten minutes Bristol seized control and scored tries through Jamal Ford-Robinson, Max Crumpton, Ross McMillan and Ben Glynn, securing all five points.

The hosts got off to a positive start when some strong early running from full-back Luke Arscott down the wing was rewarded by Wales fly-half Morgan who slotted over a fourth minute penalty.

Ulster A struck back immediately, going up the other end of the pitch and notching the first try of the game three minutes later, Academy number eight Lorcan Dow the one crossing for the visitors after brushing off two Bristol tacklers.

Fly-half McPhillips missed the conversion but was successful with his first penalty of the night on 18 minutes after some sustained pressure on the Bristol defence.

It took all of a minute for McPhillips’ penalty to be cancelled out by another Morgan kick, but the fly-half missed another effort on goal that would have put the English side into the lead.

His miss was not to be costly, however, and it was Morgan who was on hand to offload to winger Charlie Amesbury who accelerated over for the 25th minute try that did put the hosts back in front.

They were only in front for two minutes as Alex Codling’s men struck straight back and it was returning centre Stuart Olding who picked a beautiful line through the flailing defence to notch the visitors’ second try, also unconverted.

The breathless first half continued and the home side were nearly back in the lead on the half hour mark as winger Ryan Edwards made the break and but for a knock-on at the line then lock Joe Joyce would have been over for the five-pointer.

But it would be Bristol who would hold the half-time lead through the very impressive Morgan who was able to step a couple of defenders and find his way over the line for the try, which he himself converted, just before the break.

In comparison to the first half, the first half an hour of the second was rather a disappointment.

Morgan extended Bristol’s lead ten minutes after the restart with his third penalty of the evening, but the home side were dealt a big blow with centre Gareth Maule having to be helped off by the medical staff just before Morgan’s kick.

The game was evenly poised with neither side able to put any points on the board for the next 20 minutes, but it would be Bristol who would take complete control for the last ten minutes, securing the win and the bonus point.

First the home side worked their way into Ulster territory and nobody was going to stop replacement prop Jamal Ford-Robinson from barrelling his way over from close range for the score in the 70th minute.

With the win guaranteed it allowed the home side to play with a bit more freedom and with five minutes left on the clock it was openside flanker Max Crumpton who crossed for the all-important fourth try.

The Championship side weren’t done there either as they added a lot of gloss to the final scoreline as first replacement hooker Ross McMillan added their fifth try before lock Ben Glynn showed power and pace to run in from halfway to wrap up the scoring with the final play of the game.

 

The scorers

For Bristol

Tries: Amesbury, Morgan, Ford-Robinson, Crumpton, McMillan, Glynn

Cons: Morgan (4)

Pens: Morgan (3)

For Ulster A

Tries: Dow, Olding

Pen: McPhillips

 

BRISTOL RUGBY

(15-9) Luke Arscott, Ryan Edwards, Gareth Maule, Ben Mosses, Charlie Amesbury, Matthew Morgan, Craig Hampson; (1-8) Ellis Genge, Chris Brooker, Gaston Cortes, Joe Joyce, Ben Glynn, Nick Koster, Max Crumpton, James Phillips.

Replacements: Ross McMillan, Kyle Traynor, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Mark Sorenson, Sam Jeffries, Will Homer, Callum Sheedy.

ULSTER A

(15-9) Roger McBurney, Robert Lyttle, Stuart Olding, Sam Windsor, Jacob Stockdale, Jonny McPhillips, Connor Young; (1-8) Andy Warwick, John Andrew, Ross Kane, John Donnan, Pete Browne, Stephen Mulholland, Conor Joyce, Lorcan Dow.

Replacements: Johnny Murphy, Jonny Simpson, Michael Lagan, Alex Thompson, Conall Boomer, Liam Free, Andrew Magrath.