Sep 24, 2018
Match Report: Bristol Bears 'A' 32-33 Storm
Tom Whiteley proved the hero as Saracens Storm edged out Bristol Bears ‘A’ in an epic Premiership Rugby Shield encounter.
Ehize Ehizode’s 79th-minute try looked to have sealed a dramatic victory for the hosts, who fought back from a 10-20 half-time deficit to lead 32-30 in the final minute thanks to second-half scores from Dan Thomas, Nathan Chamberlain and Ehizode.
But scrum-half Whiteley stepped up to land a 35-metre penalty with the final kick of the game, as the visitors snatched it at the death.
After full-back Tom Pincus had given the Bears am early lead via a penalty, Sarries grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.
Centre Dom Morris scooped up a loose ball before sprinting in from distance and Manu Vunipola added five points from the boot as the Men in Black capitalised on home errors.
England Under-20 international Ali Crossdale finished off a flowing counter-attack to extend Storm’s advantage before Sione Vailanu, who faced Bristol in the Gallagher Premiership in round two, powered over from close range.
Bristol hit back on the stroke of half-time when former Sarrie Nic Stirzaker dotted down and early in the second period the West Country outfit showed their attacking intent once more; Thomas and Chamberlain both scoring with Pincus putting them ahead from the tee.
Vailanu crashed over for his second from the base of a scrum to quickly put things back in Storm’s favour but a Pincus kick soon after levelled the scores, before Whiteley nudged Adam Powell’s side back in front in the closing stages.
Bristol thought they had completed a dramatic turnaround when Ehizode crossed with Elliott Obatoyinbo in the sin-bin. The conversion that followed drifted wide and Whiteley punished Pincus’ miss, holding his nerve to take the spoils back to Allianz Park.