No excuses for Bristol collapse

Brett Davey can barely watch as his side crumbles against Bristol. Picture: Liz Mockler
Brett Davey can barely watch as his side crumbles against Bristol. Picture: Liz Mockler

BRETT Davey says there were no excuses for the Knights’ horror show against Bristol and expects his players to make amends at Nottingham on Sunday.

The promotion play off campaign got off to the worst possible start for the Knights as they were subjected to a nine try drubbing by rampant Bristol.

Dejected director of rugby Davey told the Free Press: “I would never be embarrassed to lose a game of rugby but sometimes the manner in which you lose makes you feel that way.

“We gave up in that game and it’s something that’s hard to take, especially in the professional game.

“It was a disappointing performance and there’s no hiding away from that.

“There were two factors in that defeat – Bristol were very good and we were very poor.

“The game was over at half time and then we were trying to play rugby in completely the wrong areas and we got punished for it.

“Every time we made a mistake they punished it and we made plenty of mistakes in every area.”

Dougie Flockhart’s third minute penalty was all the Knights had to show from the evening as Bristol ran out 3-65 winners.

While Davey points to injuries to Tom Luke, David McIlwaine and PJ Gidlow as hindrances, he insists there were no valid excuses for the performance.

He said: “When you’re missing experienced heads like those it’s never going to help.

“But the lads out there had no excuses.

“I stuck up for the players during the tough run in because we had a lot to cope with.

“But they were fully rested up for Friday night.

“I can’t stick up for them after that, it’s up to them to do it in the next game.”

Davey believes the primary motivation for the trip to Nottingham should be redeeming themselves.

He said: “The lads have got to go out and show we are worthy of a place in this competition.

“We’ve done some good things this season but all that can be undone in a few games.

“I expect a response to what happened on Friday night and the lads owe it to the fans to produce one.”

Nottingham suffered a 32-21 defeat at London Welsh in their play off opener.

Knights Chris Hallam will be assessed day by day after coming off on Friday night with a neck spasm.

Also doubtful for Sunday are Tom Davies (ribs), Alex Brown (concussion) and Gareth McDonogh (dead leg).