A 14-man Gloucester Rugby frustrated Bristol Bears for the full 80 minutes but the top of the league side were too strong on the night and came away from Ashton Gate with the 39-7 win.
A Santiago Carreras try late in the first half was not enough compared to Bristol’s five scores which came through Max Malins, Charles Piutau, Ben Earl, Nathan Hughes and Semi Radradra.
Gloucester Rugby stayed in the fight in the first half and showed true grit not to let Bristol dominate.
The home side were first to get the scoreboard through a Callum Sheedy penalty and it was the Welsh fly-half who slotted another penalty to extend the home side’s lead to 6-0 not long after.
Bristol struggled to execute and were unable to finish plenty of try scoring opportunities and seemed to be unable to make the final pass stick.
A length of the field effort was chalked off after the TMO ruled that Kyle Sinckler had dropped the ball on his way over the line.
Just as Gloucester Rugby were looking to start hitting back with some attack of their own, Matias Alemanno was red carded for a dangerous tackle.
Going down to 14 men seemed to gel the Cherry and Whites together and Bristol were held up over the line and stopped from scoring on a few occasions. However, stopping tries came at a cost and Val Rapava-Ruskin was yellow carded for a penalty at the scrum.
Down to 13 men for 10 minutes, the Cherry and Whites couldn’t stop the inevitable and Max Malins got over for the Bears with Sheedy’s conversion putting the home side 13-0 up.
Santiago Carreras put the Cherry and Whites on the scoreboard just before the break after collecting a perfect pass from Billy Twelvetrees to go over to score. Twelvetrees' conversion made it 13-7 at the break and the two sides were both still very much in the game after 40 minutes.
In the second half, Gloucester Rugby continued to smother Bristol and force knock ons and errors in the Bear’s game with the TMO ruling out seven Bristol attempts due to small errors but the flood could only be held back for so long.
Charles Piutau, Ben Earl, Nathan Hughes and Semi Radradra all got over in the second half, securing the bonus point and continuing Bristol’s reign at the top of the Gallagher Premiership.
Key moment – Kyle Moyle
In a true reflection of Gloucester Rugby’s character throughout the match, Kyle Moyle made an incredible try saving tackle to knock the ball out of Charles Piutau’s hands, stopping a further score from Bristol. The work rate to run back and make the tackle was symbolic of the effort put in by the full 23-man squad.
Gloucester Rugby are back in action on May 28 when the Cherry and Whites host London Irish at Kingsholm in a game which will see fans return to the stands.