Championship: Bristol 35-12 Jersey

Andy Robinson
Andy Robinson's Bristol finished top of the Championship last season but missed out on promotion in the play-offs

Championship leaders Bristol continued their title push with victory over mid-table Jersey at Ashton Gate.

Mitch Eadie and Jack O'Connell both crossed as the home side raced into a 23-0 lead at half-time.

Eadie's second just two minutes after the break gave Jersey an even bigger mountain to climb.

Tua Otto's individual effort got his side on the board but Ross McMillan's late try secured a bonus point before Pierce Phillips got a late consolation.

The win means Bristol are seven points clear at the top of the table with eight games to go.

Attack v Defence
Jersey went into the game with the best defensive record in the Championship having conceded the fewest points, while Bristol are the top scorers in the second tier of English rugby.

The islanders could have taken an early lead but Brendan Cope's penalty from in front of the posts hit the upright and bounced clear, before Adrian Jarvis had better fortune at the other end just a minute later to open the scoring.

Jack Lam crossed the line from a maul for the hosts but referee Matt Carley adjudged that the ball had been held up, but further penalties from Jarvis and Eadie's converted try from close range stretched Bristol's advantage.

With half-time looming the islanders lost possession at a line-out on their own five-metre line, and prop O'Connell took advantage to score.

Jersey would have wanted a quick score at the start of the second period to haul them back into the contest, but it was Andy Robinson's side that scored again through back-rower Eadie soon after the restart.

Samoan back Otto won the chase against Jarvis to collect his own kick and slide in for Jersey's opening try with just over ten minutes remaining.

With the seconds ticking away, replacement McMillan went over from a well-worked line-out to give Bristol all five points.

There was still time though for skipper Phillips to get a last-gasp touchdown in the corner for the visitors with the final move, as Jersey had men spare out wide, but they return to the Channel Islands with no points and drop into the bottom half of the table.

Bristol: Arscott; Varndell, Tovey, Mosses, Lemi (capt); Jarvis, Cliff; O'Connell, Jones, Perenise, Glynn, Sorenson, Koster, Lam, Eadie.

Replacements: McMillan, Traynor, Ford-Robinson, Phillips, Robinson, Roberts, Morgan.

Jersey: Adair; Howe, Otto, Cooke, Lane; Cope, Fisilau; Lockwood, Selway, Tomaszczyk, Rowlands, Phillips (capt), Freeman, Graham, Haining.

Replacements: Lancuba, Garcia-Veiga, Kerrod, Kolo'ofa'i, Rae, Moates, Jennings.

Attendance: 6,398

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