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We will keep working, vows Bristol boss Robinson after latest setback

Published 23/09/2016

Andy Robinson was disappointed with Bristol's loss to Exeter
Andy Robinson was disappointed with Bristol's loss to Exeter

Andy Robinson says that Bristol will "keep learning and keep working" after they slipped to a fourth successive Aviva Premiership defeat.

European champions and Premiership title holders Saracens are next up for the west country club, with Bristol's 41-17 home defeat to Exeter making it 164 points conceded already this season.

Try doubles from wing Olly Woodburn and number eight Thomas Waldrom - plus a late Sam Hill touchdown - meant the Chiefs were always in charge at Ashton Gate, with a second bonus-point win in seven days seeing them climb to fourth place.

Fly-half Gareth Steenson added five conversions and two penalties and, although Bristol showed glimpses of quality - underlined when full-back Jordan Williams, hooker Ross McMillan and substitute Max Crumpton crossed for tries - they were well beaten.

"The result is pretty disappointing," Bristol rugby director Robinson said.

"There was plenty of effort, but I have got to pay credit to Exeter for the way in which they went out and played the game. Their speed, their breakdown work, the way they attacked was very impressive.

"You are rocked on the back foot and working hard to get into the game, and I thought we fought hard, but too many inaccuracies happened, and therefore you are not building pressure.

"We've got to keep learning and keep working. There were signs of improvement from us, but you also see a gulf currently between a side like Exeter that can play with real power, pace, physicality and guile against us, who are scrapping for everything.

"Exeter controlled the tempo of that game for large parts, and that's why it was 41 points.

"The beauty of next week is we are playing the European champions and a side that plays totally different to the way Exeter play, so we are learning new things again. Saracens have a ruthlessness, but what you will see is a (Bristol) side that will be well-prepared and will give it everything.

"We are learning a lot about ourselves. We will get through this. Because of the teams we've played (Harlequins, Northampton, Wasps and Exeter), it will help us immensely in the battles we will have in the future."

Exeter, bottom of the table behind Bristol this time last week, had far too much firepower in terms of ball-carrying threats, while skipper Steenson proved a master of playing the territory game at key moments.

"We are obviously pleased to come away, get the win and a bonus point. I was really pleased with the attitude of the players," Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said.

"You could feel they were ready to hit the pitch tonight with a lot of energy. We got what we needed out of the game, which was fantastic.

"We managed to keep the intensity of the game just at a high enough level for it to be uncomfortable for them (Bristol) for long periods.

"The hardest thing to adapt to is the intensity, and Bristol will adapt. They will be better for today, and they will be better for next week.

"The one thing I will say is that I genuinely think the intensity and standard of play in the Premiership is higher than it was when we came up (in 2010), so I do think to take the step from the Championship to the Premiership is probably a bit tougher now than when we came up, but there is no magic answer."

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