sport news Bristol 27-27 London Irish: Bears brought back to earth

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Bristol 27-27 London Irish: Bears brought back to Earth as Stephen Myler is late hero for 14-man Exiles London Irish snatched an unlikely late draw against title-chasing Bristol Bears  Nathan Hughes, Charles Piutau, Ed Holmes, Harry Thacker crossed for hosts  London Irish hit back with tries from Ben Meehan, Waisake Naholo, Tom Parton A last-minute penalty from fly-half Stephen Myler earned the visitors a draw 

By Nik Simon for the Daily Mail

Published: 22:57 GMT, 1 December 2019 | Updated: 22:57 GMT, 1 December 2019

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After 20 days at the top of the table and the headline-grabbing signing of Semi Radrarda, Bristol were brought back down to earth with a juddering bump.

Being ‘favourites’ is unfamiliar territory for Pat Lam’s Bears and it showed as they failed to punish the Exiles after Ollie Hoskins was shown a red card on the stroke of half-time. 

The hosts missed 10 points from the boot and, in contrast, Exiles No 10 Stephen Myler was clinical as he levelled the scores with a penalty in the final minute.

Fly-half Stephen Myler kicked a late penalty to earn London Irish a draw at Bristol Bears

Fly-half Stephen Myler kicked a late penalty to earn London Irish a draw at Bristol Bears

‘It’s the first time in the professional era where we go to the game top of the league,’ said Lam. ‘If we are favourites, not favourites, top of the table, bottom of the table, it’s just about getting your jobs done. It was sloppy. It was a game that we had an opportunity to finish and kick on.’

MATCH FACTS 

BRISTOL BEARS: C Piutau; Morahan, O'Conor, S Piutau, Fricker; Sheedy, Uren; Woolmore, Thacker, Afoa, Joyce, Vui, Luatua (capt), D Thomas, Hughes.

REPLACEMENTS: Capon, Y Thomas, Lahiff, Holmes, Hamilton, Randall, Lloyd, Leiua.

TRIES: Hughes, Piutau, Holmes, Thacker

CONS: Sheedy, Lloyd

PEN: Sheedy

LONDON IRISH: Jackson; Naholo, Stephenson, Hepetema, Rona; Myler, Meehan; Hobbs-Awoyemi, Fainga'a, Hoskins, Botha, Van der Merwe (capt), Rogerson, Cowan, Tuisue.

REPLACEMENTS: Matu'u, Elrington, Chawatama, Coleman, Mafi, Ioane, Phipps, Parton.

TRIES: Meehan, Naholo, Parton

CONS: Myler 3

PEN: Myler 2

RED CARD: Hoskins

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