Bristol Bears scored two tries in as many minutes to come from behind and defeat Northampton Saints 20-14 at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday.
Northampton’s second-half collapse meant they had to settle for a losing bonus point that left them four adrift of Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs, while Bristol moved up to fourth.
Rory Hutchinson sent the ball out to the right for Saints full-back Harry Mallinder to dive over in the corner eight minutes into his return from 15 months out with a knee injury.
James Grayson failed to add the extras but had a trio of penalties by the 43rd minute, the first of which came after Harry Randall was on the receiving end of a huge hit of Cobus Reinach and failed to release the ball.
Hutchinson was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Joe Joyce and Callum Sheedy got Bristol on the board from the resulting penalty in the 50th minute.
Replacement wing Henry Purdy touched down after Piers O’Conor surged through a gap in the defence after the hour mark and Bristol were soon ahead.
Some excellent work from Sheedy preceded Lewis Thiede touching down from close range in the 63rd minute, with Ian Madigan slotting through a penalty after the buzzer.
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) February 16, 2020
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