Bristol Bears have become known for their creative and flowing rugby, with pace and power across the whole team. This try, scored by Fiji winger Ratu Siva Naulago against Worcester Warriors, had plenty of flair, with lots of players working off each other to find space and create the opportunity.
Bristol played quick passes from the middle of the pitch out to the nearside wing here, looking to find a way around Worcester’s high defensive line. Wales fly-half Callum Sheedy, in the yellow circle, finds centre Piers O’Conor, who has easily been one of the English Premiership’s best players this season, and, a few passes later, the ball reaches captain Steven Luatua. The thing that gives Bristol the advantage here is the scissor pass that Luatua ends up making to winger Niyi Adeolokun, as this creates the gap for the winger to run through.
The scissor pass allows Adeolokun to run inside the field, and he is now the furthest player forward for his side. Worcester have seen the threat he poses, but this is where Bristol are clever. Adeolokun is tackled by Worcester winger Perry Humphreys, in the blue circle, but because the other Worcester defenders drift inside to help out, as the blue arrows show, Bristol now have space on the other wing, which is what they want.
By moving inside the field, Worcester have left the space open for Bristol to exploit here. The one player that they would not have wanted to see on the ball here is Sheedy, because we know how he is one of the best at finding space in attack. He never takes too long to make a decision either; he simply sees the space and goes for it, and this quick play is what makes Bristol so dangerous in attack. The kick pass from Sheedy here, marked by the white arrow, shows the angle he finds, and his body angle shows how this is not an easy kick to make. Naulago, in the red circle, runs forward to meet the ball in the space indicated by the yellow square, because he knows what Sheedy will do as soon as he gets hold of the ball.
From Worcester’s point of view, their defending helps create the opportunity for Bristol. We mentioned already how they all moved inside to help out defensively, but the blue line shows how they have given Bristol the space behind them to get the ball into, inviting Sheedy to kick the ball into that area.
This try came about because of the quick thinking that we have associated Bristol with over the last few seasons, but also because Worcester gave them the opportunity to get into the space behind them. It was a team try, though, because, if one part had not been done the same way, the whole move would have likely broken down.