Bristol hold off Leicester to secure home semi-final

·2-min read
Semi Radradra (left) scored two tries against Leicester to secure a home playoff semi-final for Bristol in the English Premiership

Semi Radradra scored two tries as Bristol secured a home semi-final in the English Premiership play-offs with a 26-23 victory over Leicester in a bad-tempered clash at Welford Road.

The Bristol victory leaves them eight points clear at the top of the table and a win over London Irish next Saturday will ensure that they finish top of the pile.

Bristol gave the battling Tigers a lesson in taking their chances with Max Malins and Harry Randall adding to Radradra's efforts. Callum Sheedy converted three of the four scores.

Hanro Liebenberg and Julian Montoya scored Leicester's tries in the second half, with Johnny McPhillips kicking three penalties and two conversions.

The match ended in a heated dispute between to the two benches after Bristol's Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro was sin binned in stoppage time.

Leicester coach Steve Borthwick and Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam were involved in a heated touchline discussion with referee Ian Tempest over who should replace Chaparro.

There was a six-minute break before starting prop John Afoa, who had been replaced at half-time by Chaparro, returned for the final scrum.

As tensions rose on the sidelines, the former New Zealand international returned to the action and helped Bristol win a Leicester attacking scrum. After the final whistle, scuffles then broke out among the players.

"I would rather not comment on the behaviour of the opposition as I have nothing good to say," said Borthwick.

"There will be a lot of talk about how people conducted themselves at the end of the game but I want to talk about the 80 minutes."

Later, Tom Willis scored a last-second try to complete a hat-trick and a remarkable comeback as Wasps beat London Irish 39-36 to move into the Champions Cup places.

The visitors trailed 33-10 after a torrid first half, in which Curtis Rona and Albert Tuisue both scored twice as the Exiles ran in five tries during the first 40 minutes.

Wasps were a team transformed after the break, with this victory lifting them up to seventh in the table with just one match of the season remaining.

Bath also moved into the top eight after being awarded four points from their clash with Gloucester, which was cancelled due to coronavirus cases in the Cherry and Whites' squad.

Gloucester will take two points from the fixture, which will be recorded as a 0-0 scoreline.

Newcastle moved up to 10th and kept their chances of Champions Cup rugby next season alive as Adam Radwan scored two excellent tries in a deserved 24-14 win over Worcester.

kca/pb