British & Irish Cup - Pool 2

Bristol 68 Cardiff Blues Premiership Select 0

By John Harding

BRISTOL were able to deny their opponents any score for the first time as they ran in ten tries against a young Cardiff Blues Premiership Select in what was the final appearance for both sides in this season’s British & Irish Cup.

There were two tries each for Nick Haining and Billy Searle, who also kicked three conversions, with Dan Thomas, Jordan Williams, Ben Gompels, Alapati Leiua, Andy Uren and Joe Joyce also crossing the whitewash while Ian Madigan added six conversions.

Attention for Bristol now turns to the next block of three Greene King IPA Championship matches as they look to build on their unbeaten run at the top of the table where they have a nine-point advantage.

The first of those three games is at home to Bedford Blues next Sunday, kick-off 3 pm, followed by a showdown away to second-placed Ealing Trailfinders, kick-off 7 pm - both live on Sky Sports - and then away to London Scottish.

Bristol were also out of the blocks against the Welshmen before chalking-up 26 points by the midway point of the first half. But then they seemed to lose their momentum as the scoreboard wasn’t troubled again until early in the second half.

“There were some good tries but there were still patches in the game where we let-up a bit. Scoring 68 points shows that we did some things right so we enjoyed the game,” said Joyce, the homegrown lock who recently committed himself to the club until 2020.

The 23-year-old signed professional terms with the Bristol Academy in 2012, having graduated from South Gloucestershire & Stroud College at Filton and has represented Clifton, St Mary’s Old Boys, Southmead and Dings Crusaders.

He added: “It was good for the boys to have a run out as some of them haven’t played for three weeks and we have two important Championship games coming up so it was important that we did some good stuff in this game.

“We will be treating these next two games as cup finals because Bedford and Ealing are two of the treats in the Championship and, as we are now past the half way mark of the season, wins against them we’ll be looking good.”

Joyce acknowledges that when Bristol have gone past the twenty point mark the opposition seem to change the way that they play and they throw the ball around. But he says that the answer rests firmly with them.

“We mustn’t get excited and throw the ball around because it will compound the errors. We need to regain control of the game. need to stay professional and stick to our fundamentals and keep the scoreboard ticking,” added Joyce.

“From the beginning of the season our vision was clear and there was a big emphasis on culture. There is a real ‘feel-good’ factor around the club; there are some good characters and you don’t want any poison in the squad - and we definitely haven’t.”

Bristol scorers - tries: D Thomas, J Williams, D Hanning 2, B Gompels, A Leiua, B Searle 2, A Uren, J Joyce,, cons: I Madigan 6, B Searle 3

Bristol: J Williams; L Morahan, S Piutau (J Wallace, 50), T Pisi (capt), A Leiua (B Searle, 60); I Madigan (A Uren, 67), R Williams; R Bevington (S Tonga'uiha, ht), B Gompels, S Faletau (Ol Dawe, ht), J Joyce, C Vui (J Liney, 69), D Hanning, D Thomas, J Lam (J Latta, 54)

Cardiff Blues Premiership Select: P Lewis (B Jones, 50); D Smith (H Rumens, 75), J Roberts, J Martin, C Howells; B Thomas, S Gibson; C Domachowski (R Carre, 58), E Lewis (capt) (I Harris, 54), K Assiratti (T Mably, 58), B Murphy, C Bradbury, O Lloyd (S Edwards, 64), J Botham, A Lawrence (G Jones, 69)

Referee: R O’Sullivan (IRFU)

Att: 6,150