Bedford Blues failed to end their main Championship campaign on a high as they lost 39-6 to Bristol at Goldington Road on Saturday afternoon.
Bristol ran in six unanswered tries against the Blues in a dress rehearsal for their play-off semi-final fixtures against Andy Robinson’s men.
Tries from Ryan Edwards (2), Jack Lam, Gaston Cortes, Luke Arscott and David Lemi secured the victory for Bristol.
Bristol opened the scoring through a Callum Sheedy penalty in the early stages of the game, and things went from bad to worse for the Blues as James Pritchard left the field with an arm injury.
Bedford carried on battling for possession as they went in search for the first try of the game, but they were caught out by Lemi at the breakdown as the captain swooped in to pick up possession before showing a clean pair of heals to go sliding over the line for an unconverted try.
Bedford responded almost immediately through a terrific wave of running rugby across their backs which proved too much for Bristol to handle as they conceded a penalty in the 16th minute which Dorrian sent over with ease to bring the scores to 8-3.
Bristol went in search of their second try of the afternoon and it didn’t take too long as Lam went crashing over from a dangerous driving maul, but Sheedy failed to add the extras.
The Blues looked to respond as they piled the pressure on the Bristol defence, resulting in Bristol hooker Marc Jones being sent to the sin bin for illegally disrupting a maul. Dorrian sent over the penalty to make it 13-6.
Bedford attempted to take advantage of the extra man as they turned on the attack but another loose ball went in favour of Bristol and they turned over possession.
George Perkins intercepted a perfectly placed grubber kick from Sheedy seconds before Lemi could pounce on it, but Bristol forced a penalty from the resulting line out and they went for the scrum which saw James Currie shown yellow for bring down the following maul.
Bristol opted for a scrum from the resulting penalty and after some hard fought defensive phases from the Blues, Cortes stretched over the line to seal the try before Sheedy sent over the conversion to make it 6-20 at the break.
Bedford started the second half pretty well but Bristol extended their lead in the 48th minute through Ryan Edwards.
Bristol put together a fine attacking wave before Edwards hurtled down the right before dotting down in the corner for an unconverted try which sealed the bonus point for Bristol.
Bedford welcomed back Currie from the sin bin and it certainly seemed to help going forward but Bristol absorbed the pressure before Edwards crossed the line once again after he broke clear of the Bedford defence but Sheedy failed to send over the conversion.
Bristol looked home and dry at this stage but the game was finally put to bed in the final 10 minutes when Arscott was sent over the line from close range and Sheedy kicked the extras to secure the 39-6 victory for Bristol.
Bristol return to Goldington Road on May 1 when they take on Bedford Blues in the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final
Bedford Blues: Pritchard (Le Bourgeois 4), Tapley, Staff, Dodge, Perkins, Dorrian (Sharp 40), Burns (White 58), Parilli-Ocampo (Williams 50), Clare (Fields 50), Currie (Boulton 80), Howard, Wells, Lundberg, Nagle-Taylor, Fenton-Wells (Tupai 80).
Bristol: Wallace, Edwards, Tovey, Carpenter (Mosses 48), Lemi (Arscott 55), Sheedy, Cliff (Roberts 53), O’Connell (Joyce 69), Jones (McMillan 60), Cortes (Perenise 40), Sorenson, Glynn, Lam (Phillips 58), Robinson, Mama.