|Bristol Bears (28) 36|
|Tries: Earl, Malins 3, Morahan, Randall Cons: Sheedy Pens: Sheedy 3|
|Harlequins (5) 43|
|Tries: Dombrandt, Green 2, Chisholm, Lynagh, Marchant 2 Cons: Smith 4|
Harlequins staged an exhilarating fightback to beat Bristol after further time and attain the Premiership play-off remaining.
Tries from Max Malins (two), Ben Earl and Luke Morahan put Bristol 28-0 up in as many minutes earlier than Alex Dombrandt replied on the stroke of half-time.
Tyrone Green, James Chisholm and Louis Lynagh scores rapidly lower the hole to 28-24 and Joe Marchant’s late attempt despatched the sport into further time at 31-31.
Green and Marchant tries both aspect of Malins’ third sealed a exceptional win.
Quins will play Exeter in the ultimate, with the defending champions seeing off Sale 40-30 in Saturday’s second semi-final.
Bristol had topped the desk from spherical six to the tip of the common season and regarded on the right track for his or her first-ever Premiership remaining as they led 28-0 after 38 minutes.
However, the biggest-ever comeback in Premiership historical past – surpassing Harlequins’ personal from 40-13 down to beat Wasps 42-40 in September 2012 – earned the Londoners a ‘dwelling’ remaining at Twickenham subsequent Saturday the place they may face both Exeter or Sale.
Roared on by many of the 6,000 supporters at Ashton Gate, Bristol began at a livid tempo, bamboozling Quins with tempo and energy, and after two early Callum Sheedy penalties, Earl and Malin went over in the nook to make it 16-0 in simply 12 minutes.
A shocked Quins’ defence had been left flat-footed as Nathan Hughes put Malins in for a easy rating in the nook, and the wing’s overhead offload then gave Morahan a transparent run to the road for a 28-0 lead.
Little went proper in a disastrous first half for Quins, in their first play-off look for seven seasons, however moments after knocking on simply three metres from the road, quantity eight Dombrandt capitalised on Malins spilling a excessive ball to put them on the scoreboard.
Quins’ response to Billy Millard’s half-time workforce discuss was dramatic as fast ball allowed spectacular full-back Green to squeeze over inside 90 seconds of the restart, and substitute back row Chisholm plunged over moments later to punish sloppy play from the hosts.
Dombrandt’s burst onto Ben Tapuai’s brief cross then put Lynagh away to make it 24 unanswered factors in a breathless quarter-hour and lower the hole to 4.
To the despair of Bristol followers, Harry Randall’s intelligent end was dominated out on evaluate for a ahead cross by Semi Radradra, however a Sheedy penalty took the lead back out to seven.
The Bears’ respite was temporary although as Dombrandt was compelled into contact inches from the road and Lynagh had a second rating dominated out by the TMO after Green’s scoring cross was judged ahead.
Smith, the Premiership’s main points-scorer, was then the architect of an outstanding late rating which Marchant completed, and the 22-year-old fly-half saved his cool to slot the levelling conversion underneath huge strain.
The drama continued into further time – the primary Premiership semi-final to accomplish that – as Sheedy’s penalty hit the publish earlier than Green crossed, following a scrum penalty, to put Harlequins forward for the primary time simply earlier than the interval.
Bristol regarded down and out, however summoned an outstanding response as Malins accomplished his hat-trick to deliver the Bears back to 38-36.
But with Bristol down to 13 males after accidents to Semi Radradra and Harry Thacker, having used up their bench, the guests took benefit as Marchant lastly settled issues in the a hundredth minute of an enthralling contest.
Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam informed BBC Radio Bristol:
“We had many chances to win that game and didn’t put it away and when it went into extra time we knew we had to score twice because we were down on the tries. We almost did it, but not quite.
“It would not take away the huge effort of the entire yr from the entire workforce, and a minimum of we fired pictures in contrast to final yr and we are going to come back stronger.
“We got loose and needed to control the ball because I knew if we didn’t they would come back hard, and they came back hard and showed what a good side they are.
“In further time we had alternatives, we did not take them, however that is simply the way in which rugby goes. It’s merciless, however I’m very happy with the entire group and what they’ve achieved this yr.”
“It feels a bit bit surreal, nevertheless it feels fairly superb.
“At half-time, there was a bit of belief that if we could get some momentum, the pressure would turn, but you just couldn’t predict how it would turn out.
“The very first thing I’m going to do is watch the final two and a half minutes as I used to be in the altering room as I simply could not watch.
“I’ve been involved in too many nervy finishes like that in the past and not ended up on the right end.
“I stood there with [former Harlequins player] Kyle Sinckler and we watched it in the altering room.
“He shook my hand at the end and congratulated us all and wished us well for next week.”
Man-of-the-match Tyrone Green informed BT Sport:
“That second half we put everything out there and we are so happy we have got the win here.
“We let ourselves down in the primary half, however the boys did themselves justice and we got here out in the second half with top-of-the-line performances we have had this season.
“The coaches and players have worked so hard for this, but this is a small achievement compared to what we are aiming for next week.”
Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Morahan, Radradra, S Piutau (co-capt), Malins; Sheedy, Uren; Y Thomas, Thacker, Sinckler, Attwood, Vui, Luatua (co-capt), Earl, Hughes.
Replacements: Capon, Woolmore, Afoa, Joyce, Heenan, Randall, Lloyd, O’Conor.
Harlequins: Green; Lynagh, Marchant, Tapuai, Morris; Smith, Care; Marler, Baldwin, Louw, Symons, Lewies (capt), Lawday, Kenningham, Dombrandt.
Replacements: Gray, Garcia Botta, Collier, Lamb, J Chisholm, Landajo, Lang, Northmore.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU).
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