Bristol Bears player ratings from Newcastle Falcons demolition - 'The best in the league'

A 13-try routing of Newcastle Falcons on Sunday saw Bristol Bears climb into the Gallagher Premiership play-off spots with just three rounds of the regular season remaining.

A free-flowing, confident Bristol reeled off a fifth successive Premiership victory, scoring more than 50 points for the third home game in a row, while posting a club-record Premiership win. They claimed seven first-half touchdowns – Siva Naulago, James Dun, Max Malins, Magnus Bradbury, James Williams, Ellis Genge and Benhard Janse van Rensburg all scored – with fly-half AJ MacGinty adding six conversions. Further tries followed in the second period for Harry Randall, Kieran Marmion, Jake Heenan, Virimi Vakatawa (2) and Janse van Rensburg’s second – Williams kicked three conversions and Jannse van Rensburg one – while Newcastle posted interception scores from wing Adam Radwan and fly-half Brett Connon, who also added two conversions.

READ MORE: Bristol Bears 85-14 Newcastle Falcons LIVE reaction and highlights from record Premiership win

Rugby reporter Anna Wash takes a closer look at the individual performances from the Bristol Bears players from the extraordinary game...

15. Max Malins - 8

Max Malins showed all of his skills in his performance with really good ball-handling as he had to catch some tricky pass The full-back worked really well with Gabriel Ibitoiye as on multiple occasions they made so much ground on the wings by passing between the two of them. He scored a fantastic try where he received a flat pass from Genge and danced around multiple Falcons defenders to secure the points under the posts. However, he did have a flat pass intercepted for their second.

14. Siva Naulago - 8

In just his second league start of the season the Fijian scored the opening try of the game as he bumped off a defender before carrying a decent distance up the wing. He then offloaded to Randall allowing the space for him to receive it back again and take it over the line. He showed his strength on multiple occasions, an unbelievable, textbook, hit on Tom Penny forced him off and there were multiple big bump-offs. On a couple of occasions, he had more opportunities but did drop a few balls but still finished with 133m in attack and eight defenders beaten.

13. Benhard Janse van Rensburg - 9

Yet another player of the match performance for the centre. Benhard Janse van Rensburg beat more defenders than any other player in round 14 of the premiership, and he most definitely increased his defenders beaten statistic again today with another seven men beaten as he made 106m in attack from five clean breaks. His first try was a big team try as the ball went through the hands of nearly every player in the team but it was a solid finish out on the wing. He went on to score a second which was practically a walk in as Bristol had three men unmarked on the left side of the pitch and William found him with a wide pass. Janse van Rensberg also showed the strength and power of his passing as he made lots off well-timed long balls out the wing. Towards the end, he had to take over conversion duties as AJ MacGinty and James Williams were both off the pitch. Both kicks were right on the touchlines, he slotted the one from the right but sent the one from the left went slightly wide. A serious contender for the league's player of the season award as he is hands down the best centre in the Premiership.

12. James Williams - 8

James Williams was so crucial within the backline, receiving lots of quick balls from MacGinty allowing the centre to carry hard into contact. He managed to squeeze his way through a Newcastle double tackle due to the pace he ran onto the ball. He had a direct line under the posts and dived over to score another 5 points. Williams also secured three successful conversions.

11. Gabriel Ibitoye - 9

Gabriel Ibitoye was doing everything he could to get stuck into the high-scoring frenzy. The winger was constantly working off the wing and making multiple speedy carries, one included an impressive handoff on Oliver Spencer, sitting the centre on the floor. He was always looking for the offload to keep the ball alive which often paid off and was successful but occasionally he forced it a little, in one instance he threw the ball to Malins’ feet. Despite the score Ibitoye didn’t manage to get himself on the scoresheet, however, he assisted Randall brilliantly. A show-and-go opened up buckets of space for him to exploit before shipping the ball out to the scrum half. Finished with a stunning 198m in attack.

10. AJ MacGinty - 8

The fly-half did well to control the tempo of the attack and make the right decisions to suit the game in front of him. His offloads were consistent, and he also displayed a fantastic show-and-go. The fly-half was solid off the tee as well scoring six conversions.

9. Harry Randall - 9

The scrum-half spent the game searching for the support lines. He assisted Naulago’s opening try as he supported the wingers’ break, received the pass, drew in the defence and then shipped it back out for Naulago to go over the line inside two minutes. The scrum-half assisted another as he took a quick penalty in the 22, before swerving around the defenders and popping it up off the floor to Bradbury to crash over After multiple assists, he earned himself a try as he supported an Ibiotye line break and found the space to score. He also applied brilliant pressure on the opposition nine as he was quick to tackle Sam Stuart when Bears were 5m from the try line. The number nine was pace the setter of the match and Newcastle couldn't come close to living with the energy and tempo he brought.

1. Ellis Genge - 9

The England international had a fantastic performance. Genge assisted a Max Malins’ try as he made the correct decision to quickly offload instead of carrying to put the full-back through a gap. Scrummaging was pretty good as the hosts were awarded a couple of scrum penalties in the first half. The prop showed all his skills at once to score an outstanding try. He leg-drove his way through the tackle of the first defender and showed fantastic footwork to step around the full-back before diving under the posts.

2. Gabriel Oghre - 8

Gabriel Oghre appeared very hungry for contact today with outstanding line speed. He was so quick out the line outs hunting down the player with the ball. His throw-ins at the lineouts were also spot on every time. A brilliant running display as well.

3. Kyle Sinckler - 8

Sinckler was very physical and made lots of strong carries, including one where he managed to step a defender. The two props were so in sync on multiple occasions. Sinckler assisted Ellis Genge’s try with a pop pass. The two England internationals started moving the ball like a back line as Sinckler passed to Genge and looped around him to revive the ball out the back but he got a little carried away and had an ambitious miss-pass picked off and run in by Radwan.

4. James Dun - 8

The second row scored a nice try with a determined effort to pick and drive over the line after Bristol spent a few phases struggling to get over. Dun was also always looking for the charge down on Newcastle box kicks. Successfully applied good pressure and he managed to get his fingertips on one. He set up a line break nicely for Luatua as he timed his pass perfectly.

5. Josh Caulfield - 7

A physical effort from Caulfield on his return from suspension. He was a crucial piece of Bristol’s defence, particularly at the breakdowns. He spotted the gap to pick and go from the back of a ruck and showed incredible pace to carry roughly 20m. However, the try that followed was disallowed as he was narrowly judged to be offside at the breakdown.

6. Steven Luatua - 7

Steven Luatua was another player who was a key part of Bristol’s defence, he was quick to the breakdowns and made some really solid tackles. The majority of the home team made line breaks in this fixture and Luatua made a very strong one, gaining some good ground and thought he had a try just before going off onto to see the TMO scrub it off for an earlier infringement.

7. Fitz Harding (c) - 7

The captain led his team to a very convincing victory. Bristol’s well-drilled set pieces contributed to their domination, and Harding was an important part of them, particularly the lineouts. He also showed some really good ball-handling skills as he managed to catch a ball that was at his feet.

8. Magnus Bradbury – 8

Bradbury made the most dominant carries in round 14 and he certainly made many more against Newcastle. He showed brilliant intent to get to Harry Randall who was on the floor with no support and Bradbury arrived just in time to receive a pass off the floor and dive over the line.


16. Will Capon - 8

17. Jake Woolmore – late change for Yann Thomas due to illness. - 7

18. Max Lahiff – won a scrum penalty when he came on – 7

19. Joe Owen - 7

20. Jake Heenan - 8

21. Kieran Marmion – 7

22. Virimi Vakatawa - 8

23. Rich Lane – 7