Tindall lights up dry match

Bristol 10 Gloucester 29

"Form counts for nothing in these local derbies" was the shameless announcer's pre-match exhortation to the Bristol fans. "And these Christmas matches are a one-off." Except it does and they are not. When the passion has been stripped down, the fight worn out and the roar reduced to a croak, class invariably comes through. As it did for Gloucester in an emphatic finish.

Mike Tindall was the hero of a devastating burst of 19 points in the final 11 minutes, scoring two tries and so grabbing the perennial play-off contenders a precious bonus point in the process. The veteran centre's credentials for an England recall are obvious. When one sees Tindall taking the kind of deliciously subtle and destructive angle that he did for his first try and then performing a wonderful pick-up and summoning the power to crash over for the all-important five-pointer, it is difficult not to believe he would have been of some use in that train wreck of an autumn series.

Many Bristolians would doubtless agree. It was a chilling end to a week where promise had once more reared its beautiful head at the Mem. All the talk has been about investors who have ensured the immediate survival of the club and of some resurgent recent results dragging Newcastle into a head-to-head for the relegation place. At least Worcester's fightback for a draw at Kingston Park yesterday will have renewed that vigour somewhat, and they can console themselves in keeping Gloucester within touching distance for the first 69 minutes.

In truth, it did not get any better for the visitors in that opening period than Olly Morgan's hop and waltz through in the eighth minute. Four sets of hands managed to miss the sometime England full-back. It would be nice to comment that it was a taster of the free-flowing fare to come. It wasn't.

Yet Gloucester might well have added a couple more in that first half, but for an interception by the ever-impressive David Lemi here and a bit of cynicism by Shaun Perry there. The Cherry and Whites were left taking pot-shots at penalties. Perry, Bristol's captain of all things, was shown the yellow card for deliberately killing the ball on his own line on the brink of the break, but Ryan Lamb missed the shot at goal and then another and at 10-3 down Perry and Bristol would have figured it had just about been worth it. They were within a score and perhaps should not have been. All that was required was to survive the 10 minutes and summon some old-fashioned Bristol brawn.

The introduction of Mark Regan inspired the home pack to give it some go-forward, but it was too little and not late enough. Gloucester soaked it up and Tindall pounced first in the 69th minute and then in the last seconds. In between, Lesley Vainikolo had grabbed Gloucester's third try and Lemi had run over for Bristol in what was supposed to be a consolation. Tindall ensured otherwise.

Bristol: L Arscott; L Robinson, Neil Brew, L Eves (Nathan Brew, 65), D Lemi; E Barnes (A Jarvis, 65), S Perry (capt); D Crompton, S Linklater (M Regan, 40), J Hobson (M Irish, 51); M Sambucetti (D Attwood, 74), R Sidoli, N Budgett (J Phillips, 74), D Ward-Smith, A To'oala.

Gloucester: O Morgan, M Watkins, M Tindall (capt), O Barkley, L Vainikolo; R Lamb, R Lawson (D Lewis, 51); N Wood (A Dickinson, 78), O Azam (A Titterrell, 80), C Nieto, W James (A Eustace, 74), A Brown, A Strokosch, L Narraway, A Satala. Referee: D Rose (Warwickshire).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
science
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
News
Comedian Ted Robbins collapsed on stage during a performance of Phoenix Nights Live at Manchester Arena (Rex)
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links