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Bristol Bears secured all five points to get their Heineken Champions Cup campaign back on track with a 27-18 win over Connacht Rugby at The Sportsground on Sunday evening.
Three second half tries as well as one in the opening 40 minutes was enough for the visitors who always looked in command despite resilience from the hosts.
It took 35 minutes for the opening points of the match, with the visitors the team to take the advantage, setting the driving maul and just keeping the ball in play before Bryan Byrne collapsed over the whitewash with the ball in hand.
A simple penalty kick from Jack Carty with the clock in the red meant that Bristol led by just two points at the break.
Two tries in five second half minutes with a man extra proved crucial for the visitors as they took over proceedings.
Ed Holmes was the first one to go over before Piers O’Conor picked the gap on the left side, sold a delightful dummy and sprinted clear to score at the sticks.
Classic @BristolBears! 🐻
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) December 20, 2020
Connacht soon hit back through Tiernan O’Halloran who was able to force his way over from close range, with the conversion made by Carty.
The visitors soon found an inch of space out wide, with Harry Randall finding Ioan Lloyd who just had enough wriggle room to sprint down the sideline and dive over.
Connacht again responded as a penalty led to a line-out, moved wide to Carty and then to O’Halloran before he found John Porch who crossed the whitewash.
Bristol would slot over a late three-pointer to deny Connacht a losing bonus point and take a full five-point tally from the match.