Hull finds silver lining in relegated Bristol's dark day
London Irish 38 Bristol 21
Paul Hull has been to hell and back over the last few weeks since taking over from Richard Hill as head coach of a less than shipshape Bristol, and finally the unstoppable happened when they were relegated out of the Premiership on Saturday. They went down fighting, but they went down to a London Irish side that still has ambitions to qualify for the play-offs.
The drop into National League One came as no surprise to Hull. He had been preparing for it for some time and saw it as an inevitability. "Watching Bristol head towards relegation has been a slow sort of pain," he said after the six-try trouncing. "I have had my head around this for a little while and while there was a mathematical chance, a glimmer of hope, it was always a long-shot."
But Hull reckons Bristol are in better shape now than the last time they were relegated, that was in 2003, when again the drop was confirmed with a thumping defeat at the Madejski Stadium by the Exiles. "I know it is disappointing today but I am really looking forward to the challenge next year," he said. "I feel there is a good future for the club and I wouldn't do the job if I felt there wasn't a future. For the last couple of weeks I have been signing players, so we have a squad that is ready to play now."
Last time around there were perhaps three or four players left after relegation who were going to stay at Bristol in the first division. "Back then the re-staffing was not put into place until the coaching staff was hired. We are miles ahead of that. We are building now. We know what we have to face next season."
Bristol also know what faces London Irish's remaining opponents, Northampton and Worcester this season. The fact that the Exiles will be away for each fixture will do nothing to reassure their opponents.
Once Irish shook off their complacency and their dogged opponents they displayed a clinical and ruthless nature which saw their burgeoning right wing, the talented Adam Thompstone, score two tries, lock Nick Kennedy also touched down twice, with flanker Steffon Armitage and scrum-half Paul Hodgson grabbing the other two.
London Irish: Tries Kennedy 2, S Armitage, Thompstone 2, Hodgson; Conversion D Armitage; Penalties Homer 2 .
Bristol: Tries Linklater, Lemi, Eves; Conversions T Arscott 2.
London Irish: T Homer (P Richards, h-t); A Thompstone, D Armitage, S Mapusua, S Tagicakibau (T Ojo, 69); M Catt (capt; P Hewat, 24), P Hodgson; C Dermody, D Paice (D Coetzee,
62), R Skuse (T Lea'aetoa, 27-37 & 62), N Kennedy, J Hudson, D Danaher (R Thorpe, 52), S Armitage, C Hala'ufia (K Roche, 75).
Bristol: L Arscott; L Robinson, L Eves, J Fatialofa (G Barden, 76), T Arscott; E Barnes (D Lemi, 50), H Thomas (S Perry, h-t); M Irish, S Linklater (O Hayes, 76), D Crompton (W Thompson, h-t), M Sambucetti (R Winters, 50), R Sidoli, R Pennycook, J El-Abd (A To'oala, 40+4), D Ward-Smith.
Referee: N Owens (Wales).
The Prince of Wales Stakes today is regarded by many as the No1 race of the Royal Ascot meeting and ...
by Gareth Purnell
19 June 2013 02:01 AM
Today’s St James Palace looks a cracker and there has been sustained money for Dawn Approach since t...
by Gareth Purnell
18 June 2013 02:01 AM
Newcastle don’t need a football director – they need a new medical team after finishing bottom of the injury league
Newcastle United have shocked their fans by appointing Joe Kinnear as director of football but new f...
by Alex Miller
17 June 2013 04:39 PM
ACT Brumbies v British and Irish Lions - player ratings
Premier League fixture list unveiled: David Moyes and Jose Mourinho on an early collision course
Liverpool expected to complete deal for £6m Spanish winger Luis Alberto in next 48 hours
In pictures: Royal Ascot 2013 - Opening day
Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for further 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United
- 1 Disability campaigners celebrate 'victory' after government rethink over plans to make it more difficult to claim disability benefits
- 2 'Jail reckless bankers': Report urges the Government to introduce new criminal offence for reckless management
- 3 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 4 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf