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Robinson has confidence in Bristol

Published 26/05/2015

Bristol rugby director Andy Robinson is geared up for Wednesday's fixture against Worcester
Bristol rugby director Andy Robinson is geared up for Wednesday's fixture against Worcester

Andy Robinson believes his Bristol side possess sufficient firepower to crush memories of previous play-off failures and reclaim a place in the Aviva Premiership.

Bristol have endured a six-year exile from English rugby's top flight, and during that time they suffered painful defeats in the Championship final against Exeter and London Welsh.

Robinson's men will head to Sixways on Wednesday for a quick-fire return appointment with Worcester, having lost the first leg 29-28 at Ashton Gate.

Worcester are chasing an immediate Premiership return following their relegation last season, and a late converted try in Bristol six days ago has given them the narrowest of advantages as both sides stand 80 minutes away from replacing London Welsh among English rugby's elite.

"The three games that we have had against Worcester this season have all been one-score games," Bristol rugby director Robinson said.

"We had the joy of winning at Ashton Gate at the start of the season with the last play of the game, and Worcester had the joy of winning the last game with the last play last Wednesday.

"So that is how close these games are. It is vital that we go into the last 15 minutes of Wednesday's match with it being a one-score game. We believe that we have the firepower to win the game.

"I think the weather is going to be good again, so it is all about getting out there and trying to express yourself and win a game. We have confidence in what we are trying to achieve."

Bristol will be without Wales internationals Gavin Henson and Ryan Jones, with centre Henson having undergone surgery to repair a fractured shin he suffered in last week's encounter, while flanker Jones misses out because of a shoulder injury.

Jack Tovey and Ben Mosses form Bristol's midfield partnership while fly-half Nicky Robinson - in his final Bristol game before joining French club Oyonnax - replaces Matthew Morgan, and there are also starts for lock Ben Glynn and flanker Marco Mama.

Robinson said: "We will draw a lot of confidence from our second-half performance last week against Worcester when we were on the ropes.

"If you think what happened last year against London Welsh when we were on the ropes, we got put away. There was a 19-point deficit going into the second leg, but this time it is a one-point deficit."

Worcester are unchanged from last week's encounter and rugby director Dean Ryan said: "That result doesn't actually mean anything until Wednesday. It's on level terms, effectively.

"I am pleased that we've got a bit of a psychological lift by the nature of winning it at the end because they've beaten us in two tight games this season.

"But it is going to be a straight shoot-out and whoever wins will be in the Premiership.

"We will need the same levels of intensity again this week and it will be a pretty lively clash. We know we can play and score against Bristol and that we can be resilient, and we will need all those qualities on Wednesday."

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