European Rugby Challenge Cup: Bristol Bears beat Zebre at Ashton Gate

Ryan Edwards
Ryan Edwards scored two tries before half-time to put Bristol in command against Zebre
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bristol (36) 43
Tries: Leiua, Edwards 2, Latta, Haining, Armstrong, Uren Cons: Sheedy 3, Bedlow
Zebre (10) 22
Tries: Bello, Castello, Boni Cons: Brummer 2 Pen: Brummer

Bristol Bears marked their first European match in nearly two years with a convincing seven-try win over Zebre in the Challenge Cup at Ashton Gate.

Alapati Leiua, Joe Latta, Nick Haining, Jake Armstrong and Ryan Edwards' brace put the Bears 36-10 up at half-time.

Both sides struggled with the stormy conditions after the break, with a series of scrums punctuating the play.

But Bristol, who made 12 changes after last week's thrashing by Worcester, scored a seventh try through Andy Uren.

It was hosts' first victory in Europe since December 2016, when they beat Pau 41-14 in the group stages.

But they are a much stronger outfit than the one relegated from the Premiership that season - and head coach Pat Lam has already said he is targeting a place in the Champions Cup.

Italian side Zebre have endured a mixed start to their Pro14 campaign, losing four of their opening six games to leave them sixth in Conference A.

Bristol Bears: Pincus; Edwards, Hurrell, Piutau (capt), Leiua; Sheedy, Stirzaker; Woolmore, Malton, Armstrong, Latta, Batley, Jeffries, D. Thomas, Haining.

Replacements: Lindsay, Y. Thomas, Afoa, Heenan, Smith, Uren, Bedlow, Pisi.

Zebre: Di Giulio; Bellini, Bisegni, Castello, Venditti; Brummer, Palazzani; Ah-Nau, Ceciliani, Bello, Krumov, Biagi, Tauyavuca, Tuivaiti, Sisi.

Replacements: Luus, Lovotti, Zilocchi, Ortis, Tenga, Raffaele, Canna, Boni.

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)

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