Premiership: Bristol Bears 21-26 Wasps – late Nizaam Carr try snatches win

Gallagher Premiership
Bristol (3) 21
Tries: Piutau, Thacker Con: Sheedy Pens: Sheedy 3
Wasps (0) 26
Tries: Umaga, Fekitoa, Minozzi, Carr Cons: Umaga 3

Nizaam Carr’s spectacular last-minute try saw Wasps snatch victory at Bristol after an exhilarating second half.

It seemed the visitors would be denied a first away win of the season when Callum Sheedy slotted a penalty after Joe Launchbury was harshly penalised.

But South Africa back-row Carr danced down the touchline to score and give the strugglers a bonus-point victory.

Dai Young’s Wasps deserved to triumph, with Jacob Umaga, Malakai Fekitoa and Matteo Minozzi also going over.

The six-try second half – in front of 23,078 at Ashton Gate – was in stark contrast to an opening 40 minutes packed with handling errors, with Bristol 3-0 ahead at the break as they soaked up Wasps pressure.

A fine Charles Piutau cover tackle stopped Wasps’ Anthony Watson from scoring after a 15-phase move, but Umaga surged through a gap to finally penetrate the home defence after Launchbury’s turnover.

Former New Zealand full-back Piutau broke though a tackle from fellow Kiwi Fekitoa to put Bristol 13-7 up, before Fekitoa himself cut a superb line to go over from 30m.

Wasps led 19-13 when Italian Minozzi went over after a brilliant Zach Kibirige break, but Harry Thacker brought Bristol back to within a point from a driving maul, before a grandstand finish.

First England lock Launchbury gave away a penalty for entry into a Bristol maul, with Sheedy converting to put the hosts 21-19 up with minutes remaining.

But Carr showed strength to stay infield, evade tackles and stay on his feet to score in the corner, consigning the Bears to their first home defeat of the season and preventing them from moving top of the Premiership.

Bristol head coach Pat Lam told BBC Radio Bristol:

“Extremely disappointed – obviously, like all Bristol fans will be, because let’s be fair we didn’t play that well, especially in the first half.

“We turned over too much ball, we gave away silly penalties – all the things we didn’t want to do – because we did not have enough respect for the ball to control it when it’s slippery out there.

“With two minutes to go we put ourselves in with a chance to win the game. To allow them to break out was unacceptable.”

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

“I thought we stayed in the fight, we didn’t panic and to get that win will hopefully give us that confidence and belief to kick on from here.

“Yet again we made one or two mistakes but I thought we looked far more controlled. I thought we contained their attack pretty well.

“Things haven’t quite gone our way but hopefully that’ll be a turning point – what we need to do now is build on that.”

Bristol: Piutau; Morahan, O’Conor, Leiua, Fricker; Sheedy, Uren; Woolmore, Thacker, Afoa, Attwood, Vui, Luatua (capt), Heenan, Hughes.

Replacements: Capon, Lay, Lahiff, Holmes, Hamilton, Randall, Lloyd, Bedlow.

Wasps: Minozzi; Kibirige, Fekitoa, Le Bourgeois, Watson; Umaga, Robson; Harris, Taylor, Brookes, Launchbury (capt), Matthews, Willis, Young, Carr.

Replacements: Cruse, West, Owlett, Cardall, Vailanu, Porter, Gopperth, De Jongh.

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