There was to be no repeat of Bedford Blues’ opening day victory at Ashton Gate as they were comprehensively beaten by Bristol in the third round of the British & Irish Cup on Friday night.
There was little for Bedford to take from the game with the exception of 12th minute Myles Dorrian penalty and a 79th minute Justin Blanchet try as Bristol controlled proceedings.
The hosts had secured the winning bonus point by half-time before adding four more tries after the break to compound Bedford to their third defeat in a row.
The hosts opened the scoring in the eighth minute when a Bristol penalty was punted to touch in the Blues 22 before the lineout found its man and the maul trundled over with Josh Ovens scoring and Adrian Jarvis converting.
Bedford got a penalty four minutes later when the hosts didn’t release a tackle and Dorrian reduced the deficit with a straightforward effort to make it 7-3.
It was as good as it got for the Blues in the opening 40 though as Bristol went on to score three more tries. It was almost a repeat of the opening try in the 16th minute when Jarvis again found touch, the lineout was gathered and the maul went over with Ellis Genge scoring, but Jarvis struck the post with the conversion.
In the 18th minute, Bristol made it 19-3 as a Jarvis grubber kick was collected by Luke Arscott who linked up with Tommaso Benvenuti before Ben Mosses crossed the line with Jarvis adding the extras.
There looked to be a great opportunity for Bedford to get back into the game when Mark Sorenson was carded in the 29th minute, but from the resulting penalty, which went to touch, Bedford coughed up the ball and Bristol cleared.
Much like last week, Bedford’s scrum was being over-awed and a penalty allowed Bristol to set up their fourth try as Jarvis sent another kick into the Blues 22. Lineout secured, the Bristol pack marched on and Genge crossed for his second which went unconverted.
The half ended with Bedford being reduced to 14 as Camilo Parilli-Ocampo was carded as the Blues scrum went down again and the ref lost his patience.
After the break, Bedford enjoyed the majority of possession and made several good breaks through Michael Le Bourgeois, Tom Griffiths, Dean Adamson and Sam Blanchet but they couldn’t find a way through. Mike Howard and Harry Wells added some forward umpf but again the Bristol defence held firm.
On the 60 minute mark, Bristol scored their fifth try through replacement scrum-half Andy Uren. A Blues scrum saw the ball squirm out the back and Uren was quickest to collect and gallop to the line. Despite a last ditch challenge, the youngster’s momentum took him over and Jarvis made it 31-3.
Bedford were rocked and Bristol exploited the situation when another penalty was booted to touch in the Blues 22. Lineout, maul, try was the outcome with Genge securing his hat-trick and Jarvis converting to make it 38-3.
Two quick-fire tries made it 52-3 to the hosts as first Callum Sheedy crossed following a good move from Charlie Amesbury before the penalty, touch, lineout, maul, try routine paid dividends for replacement prop Anthony Perenise. Sheedy converted both.
But Bedford had the final say in the game as they crossed in the dying moments. A series of attacks were illegally stopped by the hosts before Kyle Traynor was carded.
Bedford played what was in front of them, with Blanchet crossing the whitewash, but Jake Sharp’s drop conversion was off target.
The two teams will go head-to-head for a third time this season next weekend when Bristol visit Goldington Road. The Blues will be looking for an immediate response as they look to end 2015 on a high.