Bristols Ioan Lloyd channels inner LeBron James to set up last-gasp try vs Sale

Ioan Lloyd may be among Bristol 's smaller stars at 5'8", but the Wales international wouldn't have looked out of place on an NBA court after rising late to set up an important score against Sale Sharks on Friday.

Pat Lam's side were well en route to their fourth Premiership win as the clock ticked red at Ashton Gate, leading 25-15 largely thanks to a first-half brace of tries from Luke Morahan.

Four points weren't enough for twice-capped Lloyd, however, who showed some of his trademark ingenuity in the last play of the game to clinch a 32-15 bonus-point win.

The 20-year-old somehow managed to unearth a pocket of space down the right flank before two defenders clambered to strip the ball, only for him to break out some elite basketball skill:

With angles all around him narrowing, Lloyd opted for the up-and-over to pop out a superb pass for the supporting Callum Sheedy, who put substitute scrum-half Andy Uren in under the posts.

It's the kind of manoeuvre one might expect to see from 6'9" Los Angeles Lakers talisman LeBron James more so than Bristol baller Lloyd, who has something of a reputation for thrilling Premiership audiences.

The youngster's rare acceleration off the mark and penchant for the sensational makes him a terror to defend against, though his lack of size has been considered by some as a hindrance in defence.

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Uren's score could have a big impact come the end of the season, especially considering Bristol entered Round 13 of the Premiership campaign just one place off the bottom of the table.

Bristol have started 2022 with a spring in their step (not least of all Lloyd) after beating Sale on Friday, a marked improvement given they ended last year with a run of four straight defeats.

It makes sense that Lloyd is a dab hand when it comes to showing great initiative, having initially made his senior breakthrough for Bristol as a fly-half.

But with international team-mate Sheedy impressing in that position, the younger Wales prospect has transferred to the back-three positions—and his impact is telling.

What he lacks in size, Lloyd makes up for with the kind of quick-thinking and creative ability that can often go missing in a winger.

As if his heroics in the past hadn't already proved as much, the Bristol star continues to highlight how size can so often be overrated.

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