Premiership: Wasps' 29-22 win at Bristol marred by injury to Billy Searle
|Bristol (3) 22|
|Tries: Randall, O'Connor, C Piutau Cons: Madigan, Sheedy Pen: Madigan|
|Wasps (19) 29|
|Tries: Young, Cruse, Carr, Rowlands Cons: Searle 2, Sopoaga Pen: Sopoaga|
Wasps completed a second bonus-point victory of the season against Bristol on a dramatic night of seven tries.
But their victory at Ashton Gate was marred by the loss of young stand-off Billy Searle, who was stretchered off with a serious ankle injury against his old club early in the second half.
All four Wasps tries came from forwards - Thomas Young, Tom Cruse, Nizaam Carr and Will Rowlands.
Bristol replied through Harry Randall, Piers O'Connor and Charles Piutau.
After an early Bristol penalty from Ian Madigan, Wasps got the first try of the night on 11 minutes from flanker Young.
Just six days on from making a winning Wales debut against Italy in Rome, the son of Wasps boss Dai Young dived over in the left corner.
Hooker Cruse then got in at the right corner, followed by Young's fellow flanker Carr in the same corner after Searle's interception and burst down the middle.
Searle kicked the second of the two conversions for a 19-3 interval lead - but his night was about to take a downturn on the restart.
Two minutes into the second half, he went down awkwardly on his ankle under a challenge from O'Connor and, following a delay of eight minutes, he was stretchered off.
Wasps then got caught cold when, just two minutes after the restart, scrum-half Randall found an opening down the left to run in and score, Madigan adding the extras.
Visiting lock Will Rowlands then galloped in from 40 yards out to restore Wasps' 16-point lead at 26-10, as Lima Sopoaga converted. But Bristol, were not finished.
They crossed twice in five minutes, as centre O'Connor's score was followed by Charles Piutau racing clear to score against his old club.
But Sopoaga kicked a penalty to give his side some breathing space - and the visitors saw out the final 14 minutes to earn only their third league win in eight games.
Their first away Premiership victory since September - almost a mirror of the eight-try 32-28 win over Bristol at the Ricoh Arena in November - lifts them back up to fourth in the table.
Bears head coach Pat Lam told BBC Radio Bristol:
"Extremely disappointing, particularly the first half from us was horrific.
"Right through the game it was just frustrating to watch. Some boys were world class, but others were below their bottom line and what they've produced in a Bears jersey.
"We all have to take the hit for that. We win as a team and we have to lose as a team.
"The whole game relies on people doing their bits and unfortunately they'll be some embarrassed guys when we go through the review."
Wasps boss Dai Young told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:
"It was nice to get back to winning ways. But Billy Searle's injury has taken the gloss off it a bit. It's a serious injury, without a shadow of a doubt. It looked like an ankle dislocation and he's away off to hospital.
"It's a big blow for us. It looks like we've lost him for a while now. He was picked on merit and he played really well. Defensively, he was good. He got off his line well, his kicking game was good and, if you give him a bit of space, he can take advantage.
"Our performances have not been good enough this season. And, after a really good first 55 minutes, we lost our way a bit for 10 minutes, but the boys should take some confidence from that.
"I'm sure somebody can find another black cloud to blow our way, but there were some smiles in the dressing room afterwards and that's the first time in a while."
Bristol: Daniels; Edwards, O'Conor, S Piutau (co-capt), Leiua; Madigan, Randall; Thomas, Thacker, Afoa, Hawkins, Vui, Luatua, Thomas, Crane (co-capt).
Replacements: Fenton-Wells, Woolmore, Thiede, Haining, Lam, Uren, Sheedy, C Piutau.
Wasps: Le Roux; Campagnaro, de Jongh, Lovobalavu, Bassett, Searle, Robson; Zhvania, Cruse, Stuart, Rowlands, Gaskell, Johnson (capt), Young, Carr.
Replacements: Taylor, Harris, McIntyre, Myall, Morris, Simpson, Sopoaga, Miller.
Referee: Wayne Barnes.
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