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Finished off in Bristol Fashion

Ship shape and Bristol fashion perfectly sums up one team’s performance on Friday night – unfortunately it wasn’t Saints.

Travelling to the game our Uber driver had the local radio station on and Gareth Chilcott was talking about the ridiculousness of the two week rest in the Six Nations campaign and then clubs having to further rest their star players.He rightly pointed out that because of injuries and resting players Bristol would not be facing a full strength Saints side whilst Bears were able to choose from their full squad, which didn’t seem right in his eyes.

And so it proved. Quite frankly Saints were blown away by a spirited and wily Bristol side who quickly worked out how Craig Maxwell-Keys was going to ref the game and exploited it to its fullest.

Basically Bristol scored a lot of tries and made Saints defence look like Swiss cheese – it was almost as if Lee Radford had never existed.

Bright points came from Ollie Sleightholme who had moved from his normal “running angry” to a Defcon 1 state of incendiary to score his first try – shrugging off tackle after grasping tackle from the Bears.

He also got himself on the end of a beautifully weighted cross field kick from Fin Smith – playing his first full game of competitive rugby in seven weeks – to score his second try.

Smith and his perfect boot were also on song to send young Jake Garside over for his first premiership try. And that was it for Saints scoring.

It has to be noted too that our young half-back partnership  had only had a week of training together since their return from respective England camps - so give them a break.

On the plus side the defeat wasn’t as bad as it was last year but, crikey, socks need to be pulled up and mirrors looked into before this coming Friday and the visit of Saracens. Just for the record – we had to rest Tommy Freeman for one of the games in the run in, Pearson, Mitch and Furbs are injured (thanks England) as is Elliot Millar Mills (thanks Scotland).

So Saintly throng we need you, the supporters, to get behind the Saints and be the 16th man on Friday because “I’d rather wear a halo than a fez” Please be loud!

There are still a handful seats available on the  coaches to Quins - with special Q and A sessions with non-playing members of the squad. And bookings are being taken for the trip to Bath. All details here

Photographs from Friday night are, as ever, provided by Red Hat Photography. And to see and hear Photographer Claire and your correspondence talking things Saintly rugby – with ta surprise guest  have a listen to Ladies Wot Pod.

And if you want to see posts and discussions from fellow Saints’ fans hop over to Saints Sinners on Facebook.


The opening heavens in the opening minutes - boy, did it rain....and hail!


No way through for James Ramm - but great to see him back

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But no stopping this chap - Ollie Sleightholme ignores the opposition for his first try


Back where he belongs - pulling the strings from no 10 - Fin Smith and his magic boot


Curtis Langdon tries to get through on his return from enforced leave!


Baptism of fire for Archie McParland in his first Premiership start.

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