Bristol Rugby skipper wants triumph this Friday
SKIPPER Iain Grieve wants Bristol to put Sunday's "unacceptable" performance at Leeds behind them with victory over Moseley at the Memorial Stadium on Friday.
Bristol went in at half-time 27-0 down at Headingley and, despite a second-half rally, ended up losing 50-31. The five tries Bristol scored after half-time were of little consolation to Grieve and his team-mates.
Bristol now have two wins and two defeats from their four games this season, and are in eighth place in the Championship table, two places above Friday's opponents.
Captain Grieve said: "At Leeds, we just didn't turn up, and we know it's unacceptable. We need to take more pride in the shirt we wear, because there's a lot of history behind this club.
"The good thing for us is that there is a quick opportunity to get back out there, with a game coming up on Friday.
"If you look at the scoring on paper, you might think 'that was a close game'. But if you watched it, we were 27-0 down and you realise it wasn't a close game. For us, we've got a short turnaround going into Moseley, and we realise we can't let teams in like that, or come the end of the season we'll be kicking ourselves."
Grieve, like head coach Liam Middleton, denied the club's injury problems had been a key factor behind their defeat in Yorkshire.
Bristol are still missing a number of senior players – Jason Hobson, Fautua Otto, Bryan Rennie, Jack Tovey, George Watkins and Adrian Jarvis among them – but Grieve said that was not an excuse.
"You look at the players who have stood up – especially the young lads – and they're good enough to be here," he said. "If you're good enough, you're old enough, and age has got nothing to do with it.
"If you're training hard and playing hard, doing everything you should do to get yourself into the team, then you should be out there.
"I think everyone in this team, from squad member number one to squad member number 40, is good enough to start – and that's something we like to pride ourselves on at Bristol.
"But when you're two or five per cent off your game, you can let a team like Leeds in – and once they're in like that, especially up there, they're going to get on top of you.
"We were 27-0 down at half-time – and that's a big ask. Yes we scored 31 points in the second half, so if they hadn't scored any, we'd have won – but our discipline had to be better. We're going to take a good look at ourselves." Grieve saw similarities between Sunday's defeat and last October's 44-6 loss at Rotherham – and now wants his team to learn similar lessons.
"We'll be very harsh on ourselves now," he said. "If you remember last year when we had a pumping away at Rotherham, we knew it wasn't good enough – the physicality, for one, wasn't good enough.
"We pride ourselves on physicality, we pride ourselves on our discipline, and if you haven't got the physicality then the discipline goes out the window.
"We're going to look at ourselves, look at how we scored those points in the second half, and there is no reason why we couldn't have done that in the first half. It's all about mindset – and we didn't turn up.
"You never want to have to learn from these things, because you should never put yourself in that position. No one ever likes being in this position but we will learn from it. We need to be more clinical in areas we know we should be better at."