• February 9, 2023

Heineken Champions Cup: Bordeaux-Begles 36-17 Bristol Bears

Callum Sheedy’s 12 points from the tee were not enough to secure a place in the quarter-finals for Bristol

Bordeaux Begles: (15) 36
Tries: Jalibert, Dweba, Ducuing Disadvantage: Jalibert, funny 2 Pencils: Jalibert 5
Bristol Bears: (14) 17th
To attempt: Purdy Pencils: Sheedy 4

Bristol was eliminated from the Champions Cup after being overwhelmed by Bordeaux-Begles, who will host Racing 92 in the quarter-finals.

The Bears led most of the first 40 after Henry Purdy crossed, but Mathieu Jalibert scored 15 points from tee to Callum Sheedy’s nine to keep going.

Bristol’s hopes faded when France star Jalibert carried out his own attempt.

Sheedy scored another penalty, but Joseph Dweba and Nans Ducuing attempt to seal the win.

The result means Exeter is the only Premiership team currently to reach the quarter-finals, which will take place over the weekend of April 9-11. Sale could still join them if they beat Scarlets later on Sunday.

Bristol is fading after a strong start

Neither team had previously played in the Champions Cup knockout stage and it was Bristol that had the strongest start in the south of France and showed the skillful attack that helped them reach the top of the Premier League.

The visitors – last season’s Challenge Cup winners – swung the ball out of the line-out, and returning full-back Charles Piutau created enough space for Wing Purdy to score.

However, this would be the only attempt of the first half as the discipline quickly took over the narration. It was Jalibert who kicked the first penalty before Sheedy repaid the favor shortly thereafter.

This pattern was repeated twice and although Bordeaux gained momentum towards the end of the first half, the France 10 had to settle for one final penalty to put their side in the lead during the break.

The hosts first met in the second half when the French fly half Jalibert crawled over the tryline and although referee Mike Adamson initially didn’t believe an attempt had been made, the teleplay referee found evidence of that.

Jalibert converted his own score to give Bordeaux an eight point lead before Bristol’s Purdy crossed the tryline again but struck the ball when it fell to the ground.

The bears continued to react strongly and were compensated with an additional three points for Sheedy.

They were given further hope after Jalibert missed a penalty and Kane Douglas was sentenced to sin in the 68th minute after one too many penalty from Bordeaux in the breakdown.

But Bristol couldn’t turn things around when Dweba cut himself against the grain and the score was given after Scott Higginbotham investigated and sacked a possible start-up kick-off.

Cyril Cazeaux joined Douglas in sin and it was Bordeaux last to hit when Ducuing intercepted a pass to win a third and final try.

The result is an impressive weekend for the French teams competing as the top 14 teams make up five of the last eight teams.

Constellations

Bordeaux Begles: Offices; Moefana, Uberti, Lamerat, Lam; Jalibert, Lucu; Poirot, Maynadier, Cobilas, Cazeaux, Marais, Woki, Petti, Higginbotham

Replacement: Dweba, Paiva, Kaulashvili, Douglas, Roumat, Lesgourgues, Seuteni, Dulcuing.

Bristol: Piutau; Morahan, Radradra, Leiua, Purdy; Sheedy, Uren; Thomas, Byrne, Sinckler, Attwood, Joyce, Vui, Thomas, Hughes.

Replacement: Capon, Lahiff, Afoa, Holmes, Graf, Randall, Bedlow, O’Conor.

Jack

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