Gloucester worsen Bristol's Premiership relegation woes

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Bristol's grim battle for Premiership survival suffered another blow on Friday, as Gloucester recorded a comfortable 32-14 victory at Ashton Gate.

Promoted as last season's Championship winners, Bristol have struggled to adapt to life in the top flight.

They parted company with director of rugby Andy Robinson in November, but their fortunes have not improved and an immediate return to the second tier appears likely, particularly after their latest reverse.

Mark Tainton's team remain bottom following the loss, seven points adrift of Worcester Warriors, who are away to leaders Wasps on Sunday.

Gloucester meanwhile continue to harbour hopes of earning Champions Cup rugby next season and now sit two points behind Harlequins, who occupy seventh place, the qualification play-off spot for the elite continental competition. 

Charlie Sharples' try had Gloucester 13-6 to the good at half-time, his score adding to six points from the boot of Billy Burns in an opening 40 minutes that saw Bristol centre Tusi Pisi stretchered off.

Billy Searle took his tally to nine points to get Bristol back within four early in the second period, but the away team soon hit back decisively. 

Jonny May collected a Willi Heinz grubber and just about stayed in touch, offloading to Burns, who ran in and then converted his own try in the 56th minute. 

Lewis Ludlow added comfort for Gloucester when he scored his team's third try from a maul with 10 minutes to go and after Max Crumpton's consolation score for the home team, a late Gloucester counter set up May to go over and secure a bonus point.