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Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Monday, 28 March 2011 13:06 UK

Bristol's Iain Grieve seeks positives after heavy loss

Iain Grieve
Grieve was sent to the sin bin early in the second half at Old Deer Park

Bristol skipper Iain Grieve insists the club are still in play-off contention despite a third defeat in a row.

Head coach Paul Hull described aspects of the 54-9 humbling at London Welsh as "abysmal", but Grieve remains positive.

"If you look at the table you might say it's over, but anything can happen," Grieve told BBC Radio Bristol.

"A lot of people wrote us off to not be in the play-offs, but we dug in and made it. We've got to dig deep and carry on working hard."

Bristol squeezed into the play-offs after finishing eighth in the table but have since lost at home to Worcester and away to Nottingham and the Exiles, conceding 141 points in the process.

And they must now confound expectation by beating all three teams at the second time of asking, starting at home to London Welsh on Friday, if they are to make the play-off semi-finals.

Bristol started well at Old Deer Park and were in touch throughout the first period and the early exchanges of the second half despite being down to 14 men with Grieve in the sin bin.

The defence was embarrassing and ball retention was embarrassing

Iain Grieve

However, with the score at 18-9, they capitulated when lock Mariano Sambucetti was shown a yellow card and subsided to their heaviest defeat against Welsh.

Hull told BBC Radio Bristol: "We didn't deserve to even get nine points.

"The discipline was poor and the defence was abysmal. There was no aspect of our game that worked well.

"We capitulated under a little bit of pressure. They deserved everything they got and we got what we deserved as well."

Grieve added: "The defence was embarrassing and ball retention was embarrassing.

"When you give a team that much ball and that much territory they're going to punish you. They blew us away. It's the worst defensive performance from us throughout the season."

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see also
Bristol still in it, says Winters
21 Mar 11 |  English
Bristol 15-44 Worcester
13 Mar 11 |  English
Coach Hull set to leave Bristol
04 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union

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