Bristol Bears won their first European trophy on Friday night when they beat Toulon in the Challenge Cup final 32-19 after trailing 16-10 at halftime.
It was the Bears that looked like the champions from the start of the game when Harry Randall score the first try of the match within 15 seconds.
It was one of those, out of this world passed from Radradra that setup Randall to score straight from the kickoff.
Toulon hit back with Bryce Heem try and then Louis Carbonel kicked the home side into a six point halftime lead. The Bears was unlucky to see two tries being disallowed in the first half and had all to do in the second half
Bryce Heem crossed for Toulon in their best spell and the boot of Louis Carbonel kicked them into a six-point half-time lead, although Bristol saw two first-half tries disallowed.
Harry Thacker thought he had scored off a driving maul but replays showed the grounding had been fumbled, not long before Joe Joyce crossed brilliantly in the corner, but his try was also chalked off for a forward pass.
However, Toulon could not stop Malins bursting over the line in the second half and then Lam’s side’s dominance at the scrum gave Sheedy the chances to kick the Bears 13 points clear in the latter stages.
It was Max Malins try and Sheedy’s boot that saw the Bears earn, at the end a comfortable win over Toulon.
“I’m extremely proud that we were true to ourselves, that’s all I asked of the boys before the game. I said let’s celebrate who we are, the Bristol Bears, and what that means. It is not just a name, it’s our culture. I also said let’s have no fear in the final and be true to ourselves, and we were.
“When we got to 10-0 a few things started to go wrong and Toulon worked their way into the game and we were down 16-10.
“We spoke at half-time and said we needed to get better at the breakdown and that the opportunities were there if we tidied up our stuff and the boys did that, problem solved, and we came home strong.
“Toulon were big men, they wanted to slow us down but we said it was not about the referee or the opposition, it was about us. There were spaces available if we got out of the breakdown quickly and it made a massive difference. Fair play to the players.”
|Bristol (10) 32|
|Tries: Randall, Malins Cons: Sheedy 2 Pens: Sheedy 6|
|Toulon (16) 19|
|Try: Heem Con: Carbonel Pens: Carbonel 4|