Match Report – London Irish 34 – 34 Bristol

London Irish rally from 25 factors down to say dramatic draw towards Bristol Bears; First-half tries from Piers O’Connor, Ratu Naulago (2) and Chris Vui had Bristol in management; Steve Mafi, Theo Brophy-Clews, Nick Phipps and Tom Parton tries draw Irish degree late on

Final Up to date: 21/02/21 5:38pm

Tom Parton's late try helped London Irish snatch an unlikely draw

Tom Parton’s late strive helped London Irish snatch an unlikely draw

London Irish fought again from 25 factors down to say a exceptional 34-34 draw with Premiership leaders Bristol.

Trailing 31-6 shortly earlier than half-time, the Exiles stiffened their resistance within the third quarter earlier than working amok with tries by Theo Brophy-Clews, Nick Phipps and Tom Parton.

Parton’s 77th-minute landing enabled Paddy Jackson to safe a share of the spoils from the kicking tee and Irish would have received it on the demise however for a unfastened go by Parton with gamers queuing up outdoors him to attain.

The Exiles have been galvanised by reinforcements from the bench, together with man-of-the-match Phipps, Eire flanker Sean O’Brien and Argentina hooker Agustin Creevy as Bristol fell away.

Fijian wing Ratu Naulago ran in two tries whereas Piers O’Connor and Chris Vui additionally touched down as a part of a devastating first half from the Bears, who had wrapped up the bonus level earlier than the interval.

Piers O'Conor scored the first of Bristol's four first-half tries

Piers O’Conor scored the primary of Bristol’s 4 first-half tries

Naulago was significantly harmful along with his pace and footwork, particularly when dovetailing with full-back Charles Piutau, however the leaders had fired all their photographs to permit Irish again in.

Bristol bounced again from the early setback of dropping Sam Bedlow to a yellow card for a tip sort out to run in two intercept tries inside the primary 10 minutes.

Each scores got here towards the run of play with Irish attacking, however the Bears have been alert to the alternatives with Piutau choosing off Jackson for O’Conor to the touch down.

And because the Exiles closed in on the visiting whitewash, the lurking Naulago pounced on Blair Cowan’s offload in heavy site visitors and raced the size of the pitch to attain.

Steve Mafi's try before half-time gave Irish hope

Steve Mafi’s strive earlier than half-time gave Irish hope

With Callum Sheedy including each conversions and a penalty, Bedlow returned to a group that was 17-Three forward and starting to dominate.

A second Jackson penalty interrupted Bristol’s move of factors however the reduction was momentary as stress started to construct on their line as soon as extra and ended when Vui compelled his means over from shut vary.

And the bonus level was delivered with 5 minutes remaining of the primary half, Piutau and Naulago counter-attacking in tandem from 50 metres out with the Fijian wing weaving a path over the whitewash.

Ollie Hassell-Collins is tackled by Charlie Piutau

Ollie Hassell-Collins is tackled by Charlie Piutau

Exiles lock Steve Mafi picked up from the ruck and as tackles slipped off him he charged throughout the road, decreasing the half-time deficit to 31-13.

Irish continued to point out shoots of restoration within the third quarter as their pack started to commerce on equal phrases with one purple patch yielding a turnover and scrum penalty to maintain Bristol pinned again in their very own half.

However the stability tilted towards them when a backs transfer broke down after which Ben Loader was despatched to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on, permitting Sheedy to make it six from six from the kicking tee.

Substitute flanker Sean O’Brien offloaded to Brophy-Clews for the Irish centre to attain within the 64th minute and when alternative scrum-half Phipps slipped over shortly after, the comeback was on.

Parton completed a superb interval of play from the house group to offer Jackson his shot at objective, however the alternative again’s wayward injury-time go ruined a closing probability at glory.

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