LONDON Irish showed a statement of intent by battling to a 27-27 draw at Bristol Bears, despite being reduced to 14 men for the whole of the second half as they returned to Gallagher Premiership action on Sunday.

Exiles had led 7-3 at the break as two of their Australians – Curtis Rona and Ben Meehan – combined for a converted score, but a third, Ollie Hoskins was then red carded for a high tackle.

Against a side who have been in impressive form this season, Declan Kidney's me did really well to stick to their task in the circumstances, Waisake Naholo getting his second try in as many games and young Tom Parton also crossing the whitewash again.

However, they still trailed 27-24 going into the final minute, only for fly-half Stephen Myler to show why he's the division's third-highest points scorer ever, landing a nerveless penalty to ensure the visitors left Ashton Gate with two points.

Kidney was particularly pleased with his side's character in adversity, and it looks like their recruitment might well be enough to keep them up this time round.

Next up is a return to European Challenge Cup action as they travel to French giants Toulon.

Closer to home, Rams pulled off arguably their greatest ever win as they stunned pre-match National One table-toppers Rosslyn Park 27-20, scoring two penalty tries in the last four minutes to take the spoils at a fervent Old Bath Road.

Rams too had faced early problems as they had Connor Stapley and Cam Zeiss sin-binned in the opening quarter, with Seb Reynolds men falling 14-0 behind.

However, led by the inspirational Robbie Stapley and a front row which by the end was smashing its way forward at every scrum, they deserved the win.

Rams remain third in the table but just two points adrift of Richmond, and as the season progresses it's going to be fascinating to see how things pan out.

This Saturday Rams face another long trip north when they take on Sale.

My boys Reading, who have been in scintillating form, return from a week off with a trip to struggling Didcot in Southern Counties North, while Reading Abbey face a bottom-of-the-table trip to Chesham.

Lastly, in-form Berkshire Shire Hall visit Tadley 2nds hoping to keep up their great run.