Bristol 20-21 London Welsh
Andy Robinson sets sights on beating Worcester
June 5, 2014
Bristol coach Andy Robinson put a brave face on his side's failure to secure promotion to the Premiership but there is no hiding the disappointment within the club which has spent heavily.
Bristol had been favourites to go up after finishing the regular season on top of the table and going into the play-offs on the back of a 13-game unbeaten run. But two bad matches against London Welsh means they now face another season in the Championship where they are likely to be strongly challenged by newly relegated Worcester Warriors, another side which is spending to succeed.
"It's disappointing for everyone that we won't be playing top-flight rugby next season but that's the nature of the qualification process," Robinson said."With Worcester coming down, we've got to set our sights on our ability to beat Worcester."
Asked about the sums spent, Robinson said they had no bigger budget than London Welsh and a smaller playing squad. He also said the failure was disappointing but had to be seen in the context of a long-term plan. "It means we're a year late, but we're going to have to work really hard for next year."
One or two of Bristol's recent signings may go out on loan rather than play for the club for the first part of next season, having signed clauses in their contracts as a safeguard. Other players are likely to be released.
The generous backing of Steve Lansdown means there is no financial fallout from another season in the Championship, although questions have been asked whether Robinson will be the man to lead another challenge for promotion.
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