The full-back laid on an outrageous try assist in the Bears' thumping win


An outrageous piece of Charles Piutau skill assisted Harry Randall for a breathtaking try, one of nine for Bristol Bears in a thumping record-breaking 62-8 win over Northampton Saints at Ashton Gate.

Full-back Piutau pulled off an audacious pirouette out of the first tackle attempts he encountered after being given the ball around his own ten-metre line.

The former All Black then dropped a heavy left-foot step to leave Saints’ Australian second-row Lukhan Salakaia-Loto for dead before racing clear and adding a hitch-kick for good measure.

The 31-year-old then dropped the ball perfectly onto his left boot as a deft grubber found Harry Randall with the scrum-half gathering and going over for the score.

It was a moment of pure quality and the highlight of a magnificent night for Pat Lam’s side who put an off-colour Saints to the sword.

That was one of Randall’s two tries as the diminutive No 9 tries to force his way back into the England reckoning with Steve Borthwick so far having used Jack van Poortvliet, Ben Youngs and Alex Mitchell.

Young versatile Welsh back Ioan Lloyd was also at the double after coming off the bench.

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Bristol shattered several records, landing their biggest ever Premiership win (54 points) and handing Northampton their biggest-ever top-flight defeat.

The result saw the home side leapfrog Harlequins into eighth as they push for the play-offs.

Saints’ director of rugby Phil Dowson said the display was “not acceptable” after making seven changes to his squad for the game amid injury and international call-ups.

Dowson told BBC Radio Northampton: “That’s not acceptable. I’ve just been told it’s our record defeat in the Premiership so something’s not quite working in that space and we need to make sure we rectify that very, very quickly.

“It’s not a record that any of these players want to have their fingerprints on and unfortunately they do, they’re going to have to deal with that, I’m going to have to deal with that as a DOR and come to terms with that and we simply have to be better.

“We started well then dropped off then fell behind and then stopped. We’ve seen throughout the season our capability and I think we’ve also shown the chinks in our armour as well and they were exposed cruelly today.”

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