Northampton Saints boss Phil Dowson laments he was ‘brutally’ exposed in Bristol Bears defeat

Premiership Phil Dowson Pat Lam Records fell at Ashton Gate on Friday night as Northampton Saints suffered their heaviest defeat in the Premiership as Bristol Bears clinched a 62-8 win. Credit: Alamy

Records tumbled at Ashton Gate on Friday night as Northampton Saints suffered their heaviest Premier League defeat as Bristol Bears clinched a 62-8 win.

Northampton Saints boss Phil Dowson described the defeat as “a humiliating experience” and added that Bristol had “brutally” exposed his side’s weakness.

The Saints conceded nine tries and scored just one as Bristol claimed a third straight league win.

“Sobering Experience”

“It was a humbling experience,” said Northampton rugby director Dowson.

“This is unacceptable and we must ensure that we rectify it very quickly.

“Fraser (Northampton captain Fraser Dingwall) felt that when they (Bristol) were points ahead, our heads were down. It’s not something we’ve encountered often.

“Nobody wants to be associated with that. That’s not a record any of these players would want their fingerprints on.

“They have to deal with that; That’s something I have to deal with as a rugby director. We just have to be better at that.

“We obviously didn’t show up sometimes. We started well, fell behind, dropped back and gave up.

“We’ve seen our skill throughout the season and also cracks in the armor, which were brutally exposed today.

“Tonight was a big game and we blew it. They are proud lads and I didn’t think that was an expression of what we are about as a club and so we need to rectify that.

Bears keep playoff hopes alive

Harry Randall scored twice while Harry Thacker and winger Ioan Lloyd made further attempts to secure a bonus point before half-time.

Lloyd grabbed another after the break, with Chris Vui, George Kloska, Fitz Harding and Jake Heenan scoring more tries to seal the comprehensive win.

AJ MacGinty kicked four conversions and a penalty while center James Williams added three conversions. All Northampton could muster was a try from George Hendy and a penalty from Fin Smith.

Bristol now have five games left to secure a play-off spot after a poor start to the Premiership season. With tails raised, a concerted semi-final push is likely.

“I’m very proud of the boys. It’s satisfying because of the work we’ve done,” said Bristol rugby director Pat Lam after the game.

“We knew we had to be in our game and the two things I’m probably most proud of are our defense and how the players fought through to the end.

“That was a very good performance, now we have to keep going.

“We still have a chance (for the top four). We lowered our heads and focused on what we can control. Every game is a final for us.”

CONTINUE READING: Premiership: Bristol Bears rush into playoffs as they chase Northampton Saints at Ashton Gate

The article Premiership: Northampton Saints boss Phil Dowson laments being ‘brutally’ exposed in defeat to Bristol Bears first appeared on

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