Cmon Bris!

by Chris Bertram on November 25, 2006

The clock has hit zero, and as soon as the ball is dead, the game is over. Gloucester, the unbeaten league leaders, are one point ahead thanks to a late penalty. Bristol, having led for most of the match, now face defeat. But they don’t panic, they go through the phases in the driving wind and torrential rain, umpteen times without a knock-on, edging closer to the line. Jason Strange, Bristol’s replacement fly-half waits in the pocket. The ball comes back to him. Everyone knows what will happen next. The Gloucester forwards charge him down, but the kick is away and the ball sails between the posts. The stadium erupts as nine thousand voices chant Bristol! Bristol! and eighteen thousand arms are raised aloft. Over the tannoy comes the sound of the Spencer Davis Group. Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Dah! Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh Dah! So glad you made it! So glad you made it! “Top of the league”:,,377-2471412,00.html.

(Bristol, recently bankrupt and in the lower divisions, came up for last season and survived, just. The bookies had us as nailed on favourites for relegation. But here we are, top of the league, with Wasps, Sale, Bath and now Gloucester among the vanquished. It probably won’t last, but these are moments to remember always, and that was one of the best finishes to a sporting event that I’ve ever experienced.)

UPDATE: the moment at YouTube:

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Tim Worstall
11.26.06 at 6:45 am



Doctor Slack 11.25.06 at 3:49 pm

“C’mon Bris“? Is the coincidence intentional?


Barry 11.25.06 at 4:00 pm

That was my reaction, as an American; we’re used to upper-English class people, who say ‘Bristol’.


Alan 11.25.06 at 4:35 pm

As an expat Bristolian, surely it’s “C’mon Brizzle!”

Thanks to the wonderful internets, I was able to enjoy live local radio commentary of the match here in Virginia. What a great job Richard Hill, Paul Hull and the players have done so far this season.

I saw the match on TV later. It would have sucked to have your team lost after braving those conditions as a spectator. The Cherry White supporters looked completely shell-shocked after the game.


Cheryl Morgan 11.25.06 at 7:10 pm

Careful, don’t make too much of them. There’ll be a job vacant in the national set-up very soon now, and Richard Hill is making himself very visible.


marcel 11.25.06 at 7:45 pm

A post of Quiggin’s several months back attracted several comments (including mine) along this line (1 & 2 above). Something about cultural blinders or a certain type of parochialism here – like the ads in Spanish speaking countries for the Chevy Nova, or the almost disastrous misnaming of Breck shampoo (they were going to call it a name that means the real thing, see


B.r.i.a.n 11.25.06 at 9:47 pm

Hey Alan, how did you see the match on TV. I’m a novice player/fan of the sport and am dieing to catch some regular matches.


Cheryl Morgan 11.25.06 at 10:56 pm

b.r.i.a.n – just go here. And watch anything involving the All Blacks, they are just awesome. They tend to win rather easily, but boy are they beautiful doing it.


Alan 11.26.06 at 1:12 am

I get rugby On Setanta TV through DirecTV. Might be an option through some other cable providers.


Tim Worstall 11.26.06 at 6:43 am

Boy, I hope Malcolm Johnson survived the excitement of that.


Tim Worstall 11.26.06 at 4:19 pm

Sorry: Malcolm Pearce, who owns Johnsons. Mea culpa.
I should get it right as I once used to work for the man…


Alan 11.26.06 at 4:20 pm

What is this Johnsons of which you speak?


B.r.i.a.n 11.26.06 at 10:45 pm

Whew, thanks a crap load alan I didnt even know that existed. It’s like a whole new world has been offered up before me, haha. Now I can tivo games for my team to watch, maybe it will help us stop sucking to get to watch pros.


Thom Brooks 11.27.06 at 5:51 am

This was absolutely fantastic. What a great scene!


Alan 11.27.06 at 9:00 am

The Setanta option is incredible value at $12 a month.

b.r.i.a.n,If your team has never seen how Rugby is played at the highest levels it could be a real “Come-to-Jesus!” experience.

Probably the highest quality games are the Internationals,Super 12, Heineken Cup and Currie Cup games. The Guinness Premiership and Magners League games are often worth watching, though.

There’s a program on midweek called “The Rugby Club” which has a rundown of the previous week’s games, and often has interesting discussions and analysis by ex-pros. Your team may hear a comment like “That’s a schoolboy error” and think “but I do that all the time!”. Worth TIVO-ing.

NB…in case there are any Kiwis about, I’d better not forget to mention the NZ Provincial Rugby is high quality.


Tim Worstall 11.27.06 at 12:01 pm

Alan. Malcom Pearce owns Bristol rugby club. Johnsons in a local company which he also owns.


Alan 11.27.06 at 12:04 pm

Is it a newish local company? I grew up in Bristol, haven’t spent a great deal of time there for a while.

Do Bristol Rovers still own the ground?


Chris Bertram 11.27.06 at 12:38 pm

Tim, you are more than 3 years out of date. Pearce sold to a consortium in 2003, but is still on the board. Yes, Rovers own the ground, and there are plans to build a big replacement stadium. I’d expect we’d play at Ashton Gate for a year if that were to go ahead.


Alan 11.27.06 at 1:51 pm

Is this the same Emerson’s Green stadium they’ve wanted to build for 20 years or so? Is it still as NIMBYed as before?

Do you have a season ticket, Chris? I’m going to be in Bristol over Xmas, I’d quite like to see a game.Is it difficult to get a ticket on the day?


Chris Bertram 11.27.06 at 2:22 pm

No this would be an expanded stadium on the Mem site. There’s a lot of controversy over it, naturally, … nimbys as you say.

I do have a season ticket, but you can usually get a ticket on the day. The only complication is that the home game at Christmas (on the 27th, against Bath) will be at Ashton Gate rather than at the Mem, and it may be advance sales only. You’d better check at

Should be plenty of seats though, since the capacity there is about 25,000 iirc.


Alan 11.27.06 at 3:14 pm

Oooh,…I might get City cooties on me!

Bristol-Bath sounds an appetising prospect..and you’re right, there are going to be plenty of seats left over.


B.r.i.a.n 11.27.06 at 10:40 pm

Thanks for the look out yet again alan. I have seen one or two pro-games on video before, and I even made it out to the pitiful invitational the eagles put up for wales summer 05. But my team is young(er than me ha) and much work is still to be done.


B.r.i.a.n 11.27.06 at 10:42 pm

p.s. picked up setanta last night and now have 2 games tivo’d. 8 )

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