Bristol Bears have featured quite a bit in these try analysis pieces, and the simple reason for that is that they score some brilliant tries, which are executed to perfection in most cases. This is one of those tries where everything needed to be right and was right, and we will now take it apart and see exactly how it was scored.
Whilst the try was mostly made by the good work of star fly-half Callum Sheedy, it was eventually scored by centre Piers O’Conor, in Bristol Bears’ game against Leicester Tigers.
This image comes as Leicester have kicked the ball towards Bristol following a halfway line restart. However, Callum Sheedy has caught it, and, and has used a bit of trickery and good footwork to run through a poor Leicester forward line, getting into the area we see him in in the image.
This sounds really simple, but Sheedy did pick the ball up and then weave his way through the defence. Leicester simply aren’t strong enough when out of possession, and that was part of the reason why Bristol got behind their main line so easily.
Sheedy is now in a perfect position to run into the Leicester half, pulling the Tigers back, and relieve the pressure on Bristol’s defence from the high kick.
If we roll the move on, we see how Sheedy has made it into the Leicester half, with a few Tigers players around him, looking to end his run as soon as possible. However, Sheedy knows here that he can’t run any further, because he will be tackled, and Leicester will get back behind the ball, stopping the breakaway attack.
Instead, the fly-half kicks the ball high and towards the wing, where he knows that his back line partner, centre Piers O’Conor, who is a quick player and difficult to stop at the best of times, can catch it and continue the attack. O’Conor has the space ahead of him, as you can see in the image, and the red arrow shows his run forwards into the space where the ball will come down. The yellow arrow shows the path of the ball once Sheedy has put it into the air.
Again, by getting into the area that O’Conor is aiming for, Bristol are ensuring they stay ahead of the retreating Leicester back line, and they continue to have the advantage in this situation.
In this final image, O’Conor has caught the ball, and is facing two Leicester defenders. However, he easily shrugs both off, and makes the run towards the try line, as you can see from the red arrow, before going over the line and scoring a brilliant counter-attacking try for the Bears.
If you remember how the move started when Sheedy was in front of his own posts, and in an instant they have transferred the ball into the Tigers’ try area, then you can see just how difficult teams have found it to play the Bears this season, and therefore why they are challenging for play-off positions in the Premiership at the season’s conclusion.