Bristol Bears vs Sale Sharks 21/22 Report

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32 Bristol Bears
15 Sale Sharks

Fri 07 Jan 7:45pm Ashton Gate Attendance: 16186

Bristol Bears vs Sale Sharks

An attritional second-half saw Sale Sharks overcome by Bristol at Ashton Gate in round 13 of the Gallagher Premiership

It was Sharks who took the initiative early on, Dan du Preez’s lateral fly-hack starting a domino-effect of offload play that saw hooker Ewan Ashman score with just three minutes gone.

A strong start, but momentum promptly shifted when Tom Curry saw yellow after a team offence of four penalty in one phase. Sharks trapped in their 22, Bears’ capitalised immediately from the lineout maul, with Sheedy adding two from the spot.

Bristol looked good with the man advantage and worked the space to score once more through Luke Morahan right before Curry’s return.

Restored to 15 men, Sharks mounted an offence, a free-kick at the scrum providing the platform for some lovely ball-in-hand play to unlock the door to Bristol’s 22.

Breakthrough came through full-back Luke James, the Sharks centurion erupting through Bear’s defence to set up Rob du Preez with a lovely out-the-back offload. AJ MacGinty added two to level the score.

Bristol’s response was immediate however, working their way into Sharks’ 22 in a flash and earning a penalty advantage to boot. Just as the Bristol attack appeared to flounder, a no-look inside pass from Semi Radradra set up Morahan for his second.

An AJ MacGinty penalty gave Sharks three more at the close of the half but would prove to be their last points of the evening.

The second-half was a cagier affair, both sides failing to find breakthrough but Bristol’s Callum Sheedy steadily extending the hosts’ lead with a pair of successful penalty kicks.

Handling errors denied Sharks any momentum in attack, and after TMO overruled two tries in the final quarter, it began to feel as though it just wasn’t Sharks night – despite an exceptional attacking performance from Dan du Preez.

With the clock in the red, a searing linebreak from Bristol winger Ioan Lloyd set up a final and trademark score for Bristol to confirm this at the death.

A tough result on the road, Sharks next game is away to Clermont in the Heineken Cup on Sunday 18th January.

Previous meetings

H Friday
May 28th 2021
7:45pm

AJ Bell Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Sale Sharks
22
:
Bristol Bears
12
A Friday
February 5th 2021
7:45pm

Ashton Gate
Gallagher Premiership
Bristol Bears
13
:
Sale Sharks
20
H Saturday
August 29th 2020
3:00pm

AJ Bell Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
Sale Sharks
40
:
Bristol Bears
7