Bristol Bears boss Pat Lam was gracious in defeat after Harlequins came back from 28 points down to seal their place in the Gallagher Premiership final.
Harlequins defeated Bristol in extra time in their Premiership semi-final, having trailed 28-0 after 28 minutes in what was a nightmare first half for the south west London side.
While Lam was understandably gutted after watching his side fail to reach the Premiership final, the Bristol director of rugby acknowledged after the game that Harlequins had achieved something truly special .
🗣️”It’s been a phenomenal season but we’re disappointed with how it ended.”
Pat Lam reflects on extra-time defeat 👇 pic.twitter.com/JW2LuAhdYk
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) June 19, 2021
‘At 28-0 most teams are down and out.’
“We’re disappointed obviously but it doesn’t take away from the season that everyone’s had,” Lam said.
“It’s been a phenomenal season, we’re just disappointed we couldn’t do it for the fans and our families and for the guys who are leaving to get to the final. But’s that’s sport.
“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Harlequins. At 28-0 most teams are down and out. Then and they got a lucky bounce [at the end of the first half] but they came back after half time.”
Harlequins showered in praise after remarkable comeback.
Harlequins received widespread praise for their comeback victory in the thrilling encounter, which has set up a blockbuster final with Exeter Chiefs next Saturday at Twickenham Stadium.
BT Sport pundit Brian O’Driscoll labelled Harlequins’ win over Bristol as the best Premiership game he has ever seen, and urged fans to watch a reply of the game if they hadn’t caught it live.
Have never seen a better @premrugby game than the semi between @BristolBears & @Harlequins. Had everything (bar a red card thankfully). If you’ve missed it turn off your phone, go into hibernation until you sort a recording of the replay on @btsport and enjoy 80+ mins of quality.
— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) June 19, 2021
“Have never seen a better Premiership game than the semi between Bristol Bears and Harlequins. Had everything (bar a red card thankfully),” O’Driscoll tweeted.
“If you’ve missed it turn off your phone, go into hibernation until you sort a recording of the replay on BT Sport and enjoy 80 plus minutes of quality.”
While Exeter will be the favourites to retain their Premiership title in Saturday’s final, Harlequins have shown that they can never be counted out, no matter the odds.