Bristol 37-11 Stade Francais: Challenge Cup bonus point for Bears at Ashton Gate

Bristol hooker Harry Thacker
Harry Thacker was driven over for Bristol's second try
European Challenge Cup, Pool Four
Bristol (13) 37
Tries: Morahan, Thacker, Piutau, Fricker Cons: Madigan 2, Lloyd 2 Pens: Madigan 3
Stade Francais (8) 11
Tries: Etien Pens: Segonds 2

Bristol scored three second-half tries at Ashton Gate to beat Stade Francais with a bonus point win which tightens their grip on Challenge Cup Pool Four.

Luke Morahan's try and the boot of Ian Madigan helped give the hosts a narrow half-time lead, with winger Lester Etien replying for the Paris club.

But Pat Lam's side took full control after the break as hooker Thacker drove over before Charles Piutau scored too.

Toby Fricker's try with the last play of the game sealed maximum points.

Bristol now have maximum points from three matches - the only team with a perfect record - to sit nine points clear of Zebre at the top of the pool ahead of next Saturday's return match in Paris.

After the sides traded first-half tries, the game was tight entering the final quarter before two Bristol driving mauls changed the game.

From the first, Stade replacement Pierre-Henri Azogah was sent to the sin-bin and the second ended with a try for hooker Thacker.

That gave Bristol breathing space but it was not until three minutes from time that full-back Piutau went over for a third try to raise hopes of a bonus point.

With the clock in the red, Bristol then worked winger Thacker into the corner to ensure their five-point haul.

Bears head coach Pat Lam told BBC Radio Bristol:

"We hung in there and got our five points, particularly when they had the ball with a minute to go and we showed the desperation to go and get it back.

"There were a lot of things that weren't quite right but the main thing is getting the points to go through.

"We worked out way through our problems, stayed patient and didn't go searching for the big play."

Bristol Bears: Piutau; Morahan, O'Conor, Bedlow, Leiua; Madigan, Randall; Woolmore, Thacker, Afoa, Attwood, Vui, Luatua, Jake Heenan, Hughes.

Replacements: Capon, Lay, Thomas, Holmes, Hamilton, Stirzaker, Lloyd, Fricker.

Stade Francais: Lapegue; Naivalu, Mapoe, Arrate, Etien; Segonds, Hall; Mavinga, Da Silva, Melikidze, Pyle, De Giovanni, Chapuis, Kordi, Godener.

Replacements: Latu, Camara, Tagi, Gabrillagues, Azagoh, Daguin, Danty, Tui.

Sin-bin: Azagoh

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