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Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

Bristol 35-11 Nottingham

John Brain
John Brain admits that Bristol must improve if they are to earn promotion

Bristol opened up a 10-point gap on rivals Nottingham after running in five tries to win Sunday's second v third clash at the Memorial Stadium.

A try from centre Jack Adams, bolstered by a penalty-try, gave Bristol a 14-6 advantage at the interval.

Second-half tries from Dan Norton, Mark Irish and Tom Arscott then gave Bristol an unassailable 35-6 lead as they turned the screw on their opponents.

Nottingham scored a consolation try in the last minute through Tim Streather.

Despite a dominant second-half display Bristol assistant coach John Brain was not entirely satisfied with the result.

"We're just a little bit disappointed we scored only five tries," he told BBC Radio Bristol. "And we're obviously disappointed to concede a try right at the end.

"I don't think the touch judge was sure about it but he gave it."

We're just a little bit disappointed we scored only five tries. I think they were probably there for one or two more

John Brain

After passing up several early kicking opportunities, Bristol's policy eventually paid off after 27 minutes when Adams went over after some sustained pressure.

Nottingham lost their captain, flanker Craig Hammond, to the sin bin after one indiscretion too many - and their scrum buckled under the resulting pressure, conceding a penalty-try shortly after.

Bristol came out after the break, almost immediately extending their lead through winger Norton who touched down in the corner for his ninth try of the season.

Six minutes later, prop Irish then turned up on the left wing to receive a pop-pass from Norton.

And the home side claimed their final try on the hour when a cross-field kick from fullback Luke Arscott found brother Tom on the right wing.

Nottingham cashed in a lot of late possession when winger Streather squeezed over in the right corner.

But, after keeping up the pressure on leaders Exeter, who beat Cornish Pirates 22-15 to remain six points clear at the top, Brain said: "If we keep on improving, we're going to make this competition a very interesting one.

"Our game has come on a lot in the last three games.

"But we're certainly not the finished article. The way we're playing at the moment isn't good enough."

Bristol: L Arscott; T Arscott, Adams, Fatialofa, Norton, Jarvis, Spice (capt); Irish, Blaney, Crompton, Budgett, Winters, Grieve, Merriman, Montagu. Replacements: Hayes, Thompson, Barry, Pennycook, Shaw, Ashwin, Eves.

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