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Andy Robinson frustrated as Bristol lose to Harlequins

Published 03/09/2016

Bristol director of rugby Andy Robinson believes Harlequins should not have been awarded one of their tries
Bristol director of rugby Andy Robinson believes Harlequins should not have been awarded one of their tries

Bristol head coach Andy Robinson was left frustrated after Harlequins were awarded a try despite a clear forward pass in an Aviva Premiership match they went on to edge 21-19.

Joe Marchant was sent over by Marland Yarde seconds before half time in the second act of the London double header at Twickenham, but while the final pass was forward, TMO Rowan Kitt allowed it to stand.

Bristol, who have returned to the top flight after an absence of seven years, led for most of the game but two late penalties from Nick Evans ensured there was no upset.

"When the opposing director of rugby said he thought it was forward pass, how do you think I feel? It's welcome back to the Premiership for me," Robinson said.

"I thought the guys to a man were outstanding and I was really proud, but also disappointed for them. I'm really frustrated.

"We will have to work hard on our discipline because we were the wrong side of the referee. We've got to be more streetwise in what we do, sharper and smarter.

"The important thing is that we put the hits in and throughout there was real commitment from us."

Gavin Henson limped off shortly before the half hour mark following a collision with Quins prop Joe Marler, but the former Wales centre is expected to be fit to face Northampton on Sunday.

"Gavin got there as early as he could and the charge down from Joe Marler....these things happen in the game," Robinson said.

"When you slow it down it looks worse. These things happen and you have to move on.

"It's a shame when an injury occurs from something like that. He's got a sore leg but we expect him to be ready for next week."

It was a scrappy performance with which to open John Kingston's reign at Twickenham Stoop and the Harlequins director of rugby admitted there are many areas for improvement.

"There were a crazy number of mistakes. Technically, we got some things really wrong," Kingston said.

"The thing that pleased me most was the way the group stuck together when they could've got frustrated.

"We were probably playing a bit too deep in the first half, considering the conditions.

"We found ourselves trying to force things after giving them a couple of east scores. It was a day where you had to catch a ball before you passed it. At half time we walked about playing wet-weather rugby."

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