By Nik Simon for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:57 GMT, 1 December 2019 | Updated: 22:57 GMT, 1 December 2019
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
‘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.’
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
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: Hoskinssonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart