|Bristol (13) 39|
|Tries: Malins, C Piutau, Earl, Hughes, Radradra Cons: Sheedy 4 Pens: Sheedy 2|
|Gloucester (7) 7|
|Try: Carreras Con: Twelvetrees Red card: Alemanno|
Premiership leaders Bristol Bears comfortably beat 14-man Gloucester, despite having eight tries ruled out.
After Matias Alemanno was sent off, Max Malins’ try helped the Bears to a 13-7 lead at half-time as Santiago Carreras replied against the run of play.
Charles Piutau stretched the hosts’ advantage after the break, and Ben Earl then powered over from close range.
Nathan Hughes crossed following a line-out to secure a bonus point, and Semi Radradra added a fifth at the death.
Victory all but ensures a top-two finish and a home semi-final for Bristol, with Pat Lam’s side now 12 points ahead of second-placed Sale with three games of the regular campaign remaining.
The Bears travel to the Sharks in their next Premiership game on Friday, 28 May.
Bears prevail despite squandering chances
Around 3,000 returning Bears fans, who were attending a game at Ashton Gate for the first time since March last year, were treated to an entertaining West Country derby.
Leading 6-0 through two Callum Sheedy penalties, Alemanno’s sending-off in the 16th minute, for a tip-tackle on opposing lock Steven Luatua, put Bristol firmly in control.
But the hosts had to wait another 10 minutes for a brilliant pass out of the back of the hand from Sheedy to set up their first try for Malins, which came after Cherry and Whites prop Val Rapava-Ruskin was sent to the sin-bin to temporarily reduce the visitors to 13 men.
Bristol could and should have had more tries, but a combination of referee Craig Maxwell-Keys and the television match official picked up several handling errors and other infringements.
The most glaring failure was by Piutau, who seemed certain to score at the end of the first half but had the ball knocked out of his hands by Gloucester full-back Kyle Moyle with the line gaping.
Piutau redeemed himself in the second half after being set up by a good break from Chris Vui, and the Bears eased to victory with three tries in the final 15 minutes of the game.
Bristol: C Piutau; Morahan, Radradra, S Piutau, Malins; Sheedy, Uren; Thomas, Kerr, Sinckler, Attwood, Vui, Luatua (capt), Earl, Hughes.
Replacements: Capon, Woolmore, Afoa, Holmes, Heenan, Kessell, Lloyd, Leiua.
Gloucester: Moyle;, Rees-Zammit, Kveseladze, Atkinson, Carreras; Twelvetrees, Heinz; Rapava-Ruskin, Singleton, Balmain, Slater, Alemanno, Reid, Ludlow (capt), Ackermann.
Replacements: Walker, Ford-Robinson, Stanley, Morgan, Clement, Varney, Evans, Thorley.
Sin-bin: Rapava-Ruskin (22)
Sent off: Alemanno (16)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (RFU).