Championship final: Andy Robinson rues Bristol’s first-leg deficit

Championship final: Andy Robinson rues Bristol’s 19-point first leg deficit as London Welsh won the Championship final

By Gareth Llewellyn
Bristol
20
Exiles
21

Andy Robinson rued Bristol’s 19-point first leg deficit as London Welsh won the Greene King IPA Championship final 48-28 on aggregate.

The Bristol director of rugby saw his side fail to build on a 20-9 lead midway through the second half of the second leg at the Memorial Stadium as they allowed the Exiles to hit back with two tries at the death to cap off an unexpected return to the Aviva Premiership at the first attempt.

“We moved the ball well and had good balance,” Robinson told bristolrugby.co.uk. “The commitment of the players, backed up by fantastic support, was very positive.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t good enough in the first game and that cost us. This game is about inches and we missed out on those.

Former Wales outside-half Nicky Robinson struggled with his kicking off the tee in Bristol’s last match at the Memorial Stadium before their switch to Ashton Gate, allowing 13 points to go to waste as his counterpart Gordon Ross had the Bristol defence scrambling to all parts of the ground with a series of well-angled kicks.

Three well-worked tries allowed Bristol to get the aggregate score down to eight points going into the final 10 minutes, before the Exiles’ forwards powered over from a catch and drive and full-back Seb Stegmann chased down a loose ball to condemn Bristol to another season in the Championship.

“I thought it was an outstanding performance,” Robinson added. “The character we showed was excellent, but we were left to chase too much.

“We left a lot of points out there and had enough opportunities, but we have to be able to take those. It’s something we will look at going into next season.

“London Welsh defended well and Gordon Ross’s kicking was excellent, so credit to them.”

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