Peerless Penaud inspires union Bordeaux-Bègles triumph

Peerless Penaud inspires union Bordeaux-Bègles triumph

Union Bordeaux-Bègles wing Damian Penaud put in an exquisite performance as the French side ran out 36-17 winners over Bristol Bears in the Investec Champions Cup.

After two matches, Union Bordeaux-Bègles now have two bonus-point wins and sit on top of Pool 1 having more than demonstrated their early title credentials.

A young Bristol Bears side scored twice, but the French team scored five tries in front of a 27,000 strong crowd at the Stade Chaban-Delmas; Penaud, scrum-half Maxime Lucu, wing Louis Bielle-Biarrey, centre Ben Tapuai and replacement scrum-half Théo Nanette all went over.

Three of those came in the first half, with Penaud playing a crucial role in creating both Lucu’s early cross and Bielle-Biarrey's score before chipping in with his own.

Lucu added two conversions and a penalty to leave a youthful Bristol Bears thoroughly behind at the break, with fly-half Sam Worsley’s penalty their only score.

The visitors somewhat stemmed the Union Bordeaux-Bègles tide early in the second half, but eventually the French side went over once more in the 55th minute as Tapuai secured the bonus point.

Lucu converted to bring his personal tally up to 14 and the scrum-half was soon replaced, leaving the field to a standing ovation following a brilliant innings. 

It was then that Bristol Bears secured their first try, a more-than-fair reward for their efforts, as replacement James Dun went over with 20-year-old Worsley converting. 

Replacement scrum-half Nanette added a fifth for Union Bordeaux-Bègles in the 66th minute, fly-half Matthieu Jalibert converting, before his opposite number Oscar Lennon added a second converted score for the visitors. 

Union Bordeaux-Bègles ended the game with 14 men on the pitch after centre Yoram Moefana was judged to have made one too many late tackles, but it meant little as the French side triumphed on the night. 

They will face Saracens and Vodacom Bulls in January as their search for a first ever Investec Champions Cup title continues, while Bristol Bears can take some confidence from their first two displays into their Round 3 and 4 matches against Vodacom Bulls and Connacht Rugby. 

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