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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Sunday, October 28th 2018

‘Youngsters showed character’ - McPhillips

Conor McPhillips insisted his young charges would learn plenty from Saturday’s Premiership Rugby Cup clash at Franklin’s Gardens, after Bristol Bears were beaten 51-24 by Northampton Saints in the opening round of the competition.

McPhillips’ side ran in four tries to earn a consolation bonus point, but found themselves overpowered by Saints, who touched down seven times to secure a commanding win.

And although disappointed by Bristol’s ‘basic errors’, the assistant coach said the last-gasp bonus point showed ‘good character’ on a difficult afternoon.

“It’s a tough score line to take. If you lose the possession and territory battle, it’s tough to win a game of rugby.

“Some simple, basic errors from us fed Saints, and they were clinical. Fair play, they took their chances and scored some good tries, but I think we have to look at ourselves. 

“There were some very young guys out there and you could see a few touches of brilliance from them, and you can see the talent that is there. The more they train and play, the better they will be.”

Conor McPhillips, assistant coach

"We fed them a lot of points and just couldn’t get any possession or territory in their half – and any time we did, we coughed up the ball after two or three phases, so it’s the fundamentals of rugby – you’ve got to hold the ball and go forward, and we didn’t manage to do that today.

“On a positive side, to come back and get the four-try bonus point at the end showed really good character from the boys.

“Every point counts, whether that’s the league or the Premiership Cup, you’ve got to take something out of the games.

“There were some very young guys out there and you could see a few touches of brilliance from them, and you can see the talent that is there. The more they train and play, the better they will be.”