Bristol celebrate promotion in style against Doncaster
LUKE Morahan scored four tries to celebrate his 28th birthday and ensure Bristol’s promotion party went with a mighty bang.
Doncaster had won on their three previous visits to Ashton Gate but there was never a chance they would make it four as the Wallaby international tore them apart.
Morahan said: “We haven’t put on a decent performance at home for a while so we needed one.
“I’m looking forward to the step up next season as Pat (Lam) has created a belief in this squad.”
Bristol’s head coach, Lam, said: “Luke studies the game and he’s buying in to what we are trying to achieve here.
“The boys were determined to produce a performance that they could be proud of and we are extremely happy to be back in the Premiership as we want to fill this stadium.”
Bristol’s biggest crowd of the season were treated to some superb handling and the only blot on a memorable occasion was David Lemi’s failure to add to his record of 70 tries on his 140th and final appearance for the club before he joins Rouen.
His team mates did their best to seal Lemi’s night with a try but all the possession went Morahan’s way before the Samoan departed to a standing ovation with a few minutes remaining.
Lemi said: “A try would have been a bonus but it’s been a blessing for me to be part of this beautiful club.”
Lam said: “David comes from a very small island so it’s remarkable what he has achieved as he has been a tremendous ambassador for this club, both on and off the field.”
Bristol had other depart- ing heroes who impressed with both Williams, Jordan and Rhodri, carving huge holes in a porous Doncaster defence while props Sione Tonga’uiha and Gaston Cortes marked their exit with a try apiece.
Cortes was first on the scoreboard from a driving line-out before Dougie Flockhart responded with a penalty as Knights kept their opponents in check for the first quarter.
Then the floodgates opened as Bristol scored seven tries in 22 minutes either side of half-time with Morahan completing a hat-trick and Tonga’uiha, Siale Piutau, Alapati Leiua
and Sam Jeffries also on the score sheet.
Rhodri Williams should have been on that list but the scrum half missed the opportunity to score the try of the night by diving for the line too early and knocking on after a 75m run.
A cricket score appeared likely but Bristol relaxed and scored only two tries in the final quarter, a fourth for Monahan and one to atone for his error from Williams with Lesley Klim’s effort for Doncaster, a mere consolation.
Doncaster director of rugby, Clive Griffiths said: “They were on it and we were off as we were empty having given so much in last week’s win over Ealing.
“We have a small squad, they have a huge one and they were clinical but I’m not going to criticise the boys after all they’ve been through over the past two months.”
Going up in the world: Bristol celebrate their promotion
Irresistible: Luke Morahan scores