Premiership: Bristol Bears 39-7 Gloucester - leaders brush aside struggling visitors

Charles Piutau scores a try for Bristol Bears
Charles Piutau crossed in the second half after spurning a glorious chance at the end of the first period
Gallagher Premiership
Bristol (13) 39
Tries: Malins, C Piutau, Earl, Hughes, Radradra Cons: Sheedy 4 Pens: Sheedy 2
Gloucester (7) 7
Try: Carreras Con: Twelvetrees Red card: Alemanno

Premiership leaders Bristol Bears comfortably beat 14-man Gloucester, despite having eight tries ruled out.

After Matias Alemanno was sent off, Max Malins' try helped the Bears to a 13-7 lead at half-time as Santiago Carreras replied against the run of play.

Charles Piutau stretched the hosts' advantage after the break, and Ben Earl then powered over from close range.

Nathan Hughes crossed following a line-out to secure a bonus point, and Semi Radradra added a fifth at the death.

Victory all but ensures a top-two finish and a home semi-final for Bristol, with Pat Lam's side now 12 points ahead of second-placed Sale with three games of the regular campaign remaining.

The Bears travel to the Sharks in their next Premiership game on Friday, 28 May.

Bears prevail despite squandering chances

Around 3,000 returning Bears fans, who were attending a game at Ashton Gate for the first time since March last year, were treated to an entertaining West Country derby.

Leading 6-0 through two Callum Sheedy penalties, Alemanno's sending-off in the 16th minute, for a tip-tackle on opposing lock Steven Luatua, put Bristol firmly in control.

But the hosts had to wait another 10 minutes for a brilliant pass out of the back of the hand from Sheedy to set up their first try for Malins, which came after Cherry and Whites prop Val Rapava-Ruskin was sent to the sin-bin to temporarily reduce the visitors to 13 men.

Bristol could and should have had more tries, but a combination of referee Craig Maxwell-Keys and the television match official picked up several handling errors and other infringements.

The most glaring failure was by Piutau, who seemed certain to score at the end of the first half but had the ball knocked out of his hands by Gloucester full-back Kyle Moyle with the line gaping.

Piutau redeemed himself in the second half after being set up by a good break from Chris Vui, and the Bears eased to victory with three tries in the final 15 minutes of the game.

Matias Alemanno tackles Steven Luatua
Gloucester lock Matias Alemanno (obscured) was sent off for a tip-tackle on Bristol captain Steven Luatua
Kyle Moyle tackles Charles Piutau
Charles Piutau seemed set to score at the end of the first half, but Gloucester full-back Kyle Moyle dislodged the ball from his grasp

Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam told BBC Radio Bristol:

"We got the win and the five points, which was important.

"We are realistic enough to know that those tries we had wiped off highlight [the fact] that we weren't clinical.

"The crowd and the noise was awesome, and possibly the boys tried to put a show on.

"But there were so many opportunities that we blew. For the team we want to be, we have got to tidy up those errors."

Gloucester head coach George Skivington told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

"I'm gutted really because I would have liked to have 15 v 15 against the best team in the league, and then we could have given ourselves a benchmark of where we are at.

"This isn't the place you want to go down to 14 men, with the way they play.

"It's tricky to analyse, but character was shown in abundance.

"We made Bristol work hard for their bonus point, and even though we were a man down we had a crack."

Bristol: C Piutau; Morahan, Radradra, S Piutau, Malins; Sheedy, Uren; Thomas, Kerr, Sinckler, Attwood, Vui, Luatua (capt), Earl, Hughes.

Replacements: Capon, Woolmore, Afoa, Holmes, Heenan, Kessell, Lloyd, Leiua.

Gloucester: Moyle;, Rees-Zammit, Kveseladze, Atkinson, Carreras; Twelvetrees, Heinz; Rapava-Ruskin, Singleton, Balmain, Slater, Alemanno, Reid, Ludlow (capt), Ackermann.

Replacements: Walker, Ford-Robinson, Stanley, Morgan, Clement, Varney, Evans, Thorley.

Sin-bin: Rapava-Ruskin (22)

Sent off: Alemanno (16)

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (RFU).