World news – GB – Bristol Bears player ratings from Dragons thrashing: Two 10/10s

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Bristol Bears rugby writer John Evely takes a closer look at the individual performances at Ashton Gate.

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Bristol Bears saw off the challenge of the Dragons on Friday night with spells of sensational rugby to win 56-17 at Ashton Gate and book their place in the Challenge Cup semi-final next weekend.

After a difficult start to the quarter-final, which saw the hosts go 10-0 down after a try from Ashton Hewitt, they exploded into life to run in seven tries, touching down through Nathan Hughes, Ben Earl, Semi Radradra, Chris Vui, Max Malins and Daniel Thomas.

Bristol Bears rugby writer John Evely takes a closer look at the individual performances at Ashton Gate.

The full back had his ups and downs but the ups made up for any poor moments. He gave the scoring pass for Ben Earl’s first try but missed a one-on-one tackle with Ashton Hewitt to allow the Dragons winger to score from a cross-field kick. Made the break to get Bristol behind the Dragons which led to Nathan Hughes’ score. Offload king.

The Australian made repeated bursts down the wing and played a key role in Max Malins’ end-to-end try. He seems to thrive in Europe and made 98m in attack with three clean breaks, four defenders beaten and two offloads. Dangerous.

The Fijian played a starring role in both of Bristol’s stunning tries in the first half, making the outside break for Ben Earl’s first try and then giving an outrageous out the back of the hand offload to the flanker for his second. The centre saved the best to last though as he made a really difficult finish from 60m out with three men to beat look staggeringly easy. He is out of this world and worth every penny.

The centre showed a physical side to his game which many did not know he had as he carried Sam Davies a good 10m with one carry. Instrumental in the side’s attack.

The winger made a monsterous run in the second half as he refused to be put down, turning defenders inside and out with his subtle shifts in directions and then bumping off would be tacklers.

The fly-half might just need to decide his national allegiance soon as there is no way watching England head coach Eddie Jones or Wales boss Wayne Pivac can not of been impressed by the Bristol man who completely ran the show. He tore Dragons apart with his stepping, running game with his ability to take the ball flat on the line and more importantly controlled the game with his decision making and superb goalkicking to finish with 21 points.

The scrum-half is perhaps the most underrated player in this Bears squad but get does everything well and is a real threat as a runner in the open field. A couple of little knock-ons at the base of rucks as the Dragons competed hard at the breakdown.

The prop was excellent from start to finish as he provided Bristol with a fantastic attacking platform in the scrum. Not many touches in the loose today but that is because the backs were having too much fun.

The hooker is a special talent and his 84m from 14 carries demonstrates not only his work rate but ability to break the line. BT pundit Austin Healey said some players are made for certain clubs and it is fair to say Thacker and Bristol go together perfectly.

The England prop was dominant in the scrum and offered himself repeatedly in open field, making a couple of real eye catching carries.

The former England lock provided just the right amount of brute forced required to slay the Dragons from across the water.

It is easy to forget the size of the Samoan lock as he is so nibble as displayed when he scored a wonderful spinning try which was worthy of a dance floor.

The skipper was unbelievably reliable in everything he did and was enjoying himself so much he even decided to have a cheeky kick. The former All Black was like a magnet to the ball from restarts and so safe under them.

The flanker can’t stop scoring. He recorded a first half brace, the first being on the spot to take a great offload from Piutau and the second is going to have people talking for some time as he brilliantly stepped Dragons full back Jordan Williams to jet in. The former Bristol man didn’t even get a hand on him. He has extraordinary pace for a forward and a real lust to be involved in all the attacks.

The number eight scored the Bears’ opening try with a relative walk in but had a really impactful performance with the ball in hand, carrying hard but looking mobile as well. Probably his best game since the restart. 

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16 Will Capon – 7, 17 Yann Thomas – 7, 18 John Afoa – 7, 19 Joe Joyce – 7, 20 Dan Thomas – 9, 21 Harry Randall – 8, 22 Max Malins – 8, 23 Alapati Leiua – 7.


SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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