Sale Sharks suffered a heavy defeat in the Premiership Cup when they went down 43-19 at Bristol Bears last Friday night.

The hosts dominated at Ashton Gate as Ioan Lloyd scored a first-half hat-trick, and Noah Heward and Ed Holmes also went over the whitewash in the first half, while Harry Ascherl and Fred Davies brought the Bears try tally to seven.

The home side set the tone for the game from the start with the backs opening up the Sharks’ defence, so much so that Rafi Quirke was shown a yellow card for tackling Henry Purdy without the ball.

Lloyd then showcased his footwork to skip over in the corner 10 minutes in.

Next up was a showstopper from Heward, who gathered the ball in his own 22 and bolted up-field to score next to the posts, James Williams converting.

Lloyd dived over in the corner for his second on the 30-minute mark and Holmes followed shortly after, the Bears turning over Sharks ball and speeding to the visitors’ try line.

Lloyd cruised over for his third, before Sharks replied via Elliot Gourlay with the final play of the half and the Bears led 31-5 at the break.

Ascherl opened up the scoring in the second half, the centre slicing through Sharks’ defence to score under the posts before Williams kicked the extras.

The hosts set up the rolling maul and Davies came up to claim the Bears seventh score of the evening, Sale losing Harry Thompson to the sin bin in the process.

With 10 minutes left, the Bears lost Williams to the bin and the Sharks capitalised on the man advantage, Gourlay scoring his second and Tom Rice going over for two late consolation tries.

But the damage had been done in the first half for Alex Sanderson’s side.

Sale Sharks: Jason Woodward, Tom Roebuck, Tom Curtis, Sam Hill, Elliott Gourlay, George Ford, Raffi Quiche, Bevan Rodd, Tommy Taylor, Coenie Oosthuizen, Bem Bamber, Alex Groves, Ewan Murphy, Sam Dugdale (c), Rouban Birch.

Replacements: Harry Thompson, Tumy Onasanya, Joe Jones, Dom Barrow, Will Riley, Will Cliff, Ryan Mills, Joe Bedlow.