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).

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
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

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering