Holley: Still all to play for
Bristol assistant coach Sean Holley remains upbeat that his side can overturn a 19-point deficit when they take on London Welsh in the second leg of their Championship play-off final.
Welsh took a large stride towards regaining their place in the Premiership with a 27-8 victory at the Kassam Stadium, with Marco Mama's early try and Adrian Jarvis' late penalty providing the visitors with their only points.
However, while Holley admitted his side thoroughly outclassed, he does not believe the tie is over.
"All credit to London Welsh - they outplayed us and outcoached us. They put us under a lot of pressure and their kicking game was much better," he said.
"We didn't impose ourselves on the game. We didn't kick enough in the first half and they put under a lot of pressure with a powerful set-piece and strong defence.
"We have got some solace in that we score loads of tries and we can play a whole lot better than that.
"Those three points from Adrian Jarvis at the end also might make it interesting."
Bristol's misery was compounded when they lost captain Ryan Jones, who was carried off on a stretcher midway through the first half.
"Ryan appears to have ankle ligament damage but it not possible to assess the extent of the injury as he has gone to hospital." Holley added.
London Welsh coach Justin Burnell was "over the moon" with the 19-point advantage but accepted the tie was far from finished.
"We know Bristol are very capable of scoring a lot of points. It will be a test of their attack against our defence so there is still a long way to go." he said.
The hosts scored three tries through Nick Scott, Nathan Trevett and Carl Kirwan, with Gordon Ross converting all three and kicking two penalties.
The visitors played the last 10 minutes with 14 men following Nick Koster's yellow card but Welsh failed to take any advantage, which gave Bristol a glimmer of hope for next week's second leg at a sold-out Memorial Ground.
"We should be going there 26 or 27 points in front. I'm disappointed we didn't kill them off as Nick Scott butchered a late chance when I thought he was under the posts," Burnell added.