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Premiership: Bristol 85-14 Newcastle: Bears score 13 tries to sweep aside Falcons

Harry Randall runs with the ball
Harry Randall scored one of Bristol's 13 tries as they thrashed Newcastle at Ashton Gate [Getty Images]

Gallagher Premiership

Bristol: (47) 85

Tries: Naulago, Dun, Malins, Bradbury, Williams, Genge, Janse van Rensburg 2, Randall, Marmion, Heenan, Vakatawa 2 Cons: MacGinty 6, Williams 3, Janse van Rensburg

Newcastle: (7) 14

Tries: Radwan, Connon Cons: Connon 2

Bristol move up to fourth in the Premiership with an emphatic 13-try 85-14 thrashing of winless Newcastle.

The Bears, for whom Benhard Janse van Rensburg and Virimi Vakatawa scored twice, were in sight of 50 points after scoring seven tries in the first half.

Confidence oozed through Bristol who added six more after the break with, Adam Radwan and Brett Connon replying.

The win means Bristol move above Harlequins into the top four by one point, with three games remaining.

The win is also Bristol's biggest in the Premiership, surpassing the 62-8 victory against Northampton last March, as their late season surge has seen them win their last five matches and they move two points behind third-placed Saracens into the play-off places.

The rampant hosts came out flying, scoring four tries in the first 15 minutes - the fastest Premiership points maximum for 20 years - to set the tempo and another miserable afternoon for the Falcons, who remain with just five points after 15 games.

Siva Naulago raced from inside his own 22, before a one-two with Harry Randall saw him over the line just 86 seconds in.

Lock Dun powered over from close range before Malins added a third, after a lovely pass from Ellis Genge cut through the Newcastle defence.

Newcastle had barely had a touch when Radwan intercepted a long pass and outsprinted Gabriel Ibitoye to put the visitors on the board.

But Bristol retaliated instantly, as Randall took a quick penalty before passing to Magnus Bradbury to score, and centre James Williams added another as the ball came out from a ruck.

Prop Genge scored a stand-out sixth, shrugging out of two tackles, and from the restart the Bears moved the ball the width of the pitch before Janse van Rensburg dived into the corner to make it 47-7 at the break.

Virimi Vakatawa scores a try for Bristol
Virimi Vakatawa scored two late tries as he came back into the Bristol squad [Getty Images]

Bristol were showcasing their best running rugby, albeit against a depleted Newcastle side without a win on the road since November 2022. Still, the Bears left points on the field as Luatua and Ibitoye saw tries chalked off for errors in the build-up.

Ibitoye set up Randall for the eighth and then Kieron Marmion picked the ball off a maul to score a ninth and while another Newcastle interception - this time from Connon - allowed the Falcons a second try, it was little consolation.

Jake Heenan ran in before a second from Van Rensburg and two from Vakatawa in the closing moments took Bristol past 80 points.

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam told BBC Radio Bristol:

"The boys have been going hammer and tongs at each other in training, all fighting for places and the pace that we've been training was reflected out there.

"I'm really proud of the boys, really pleased for them all.

"We said straight away [from kick-off] we're straight into our structures and we go from here and score, and the boys did that.

"The big thing that we spoke about at half time was our defence - we gave two tries away which were intercepts, both of them we'd probably score at the other end.

"I'm really pleased all round with the performance."

Newcastle consultant director of rugby Steve Diamond said:

"I thought we had taken a couple of steps forward over the last month, but that was certainly a step back. It gives us a line in the sand.

"We never touched the ball for the first 15 minutes and they were 21 points up. We didn't get off the bus at all. It was not a positive vibe.

"All we can do is take them back home and get them ready for Sale next week.

"I said when I came back in that we would have three or four games and I would be making decisions, and that is what we will do.

"It's a tough world out there and we are obviously not up to it in certain areas, which was evident today."

Bristol: Malins; Naulago, Janse van Rensburg, Williams, Ibitoye; MacGinty, Randall; Genge, Oghre, Sinckler, Dun, Caulfield, Luatua, Harding (c), Bradbury.

Replacements: Capon, Woolmore, Lahiff, Owen, Heenan, Marmion, Vakatawa, Lane.

Newcastle: Redshaw; Radwan, Spencer, Penny, Stephens; Connon, Stuart; Brocklebank, Blamire, Palframan, Cardall, De Chaves, Van der Walt, Cross, Chick.

Replacements: Byrne, Dormer, Bello, Kelly, Lockwood, Pepper, Jennings, Moroni.

Referee: Luke Pearce