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There is still plenty for Bristol to put right, says Johnston

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 04, 2014

By STEVE COTTON

Bristol hooker Ross Johnston says the Championship leaders have plenty to work on

Bristol hooker Ross Johnston says the Championship leaders have plenty to work on

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Ross Johnston has vowed that complacency will not creep into Bristol's game – despite the seven-match winning run that has taken them five points clear at the top of the GKIPA Championship.

Bristol beat promotion rivals Rotherham 34-26 in front of the Sky Sports cameras at the weekend, securing a 12th try bonus point of the season in the process.

But hooker Johnston was just as eager to talk about Bristol's need to cut out the mistakes that allowed Rotherham fight back from 21-0 down to 21-19 as he was the four tries they scored.

"Obviously, it's crucially important that we start eradicating our errors – and it's a good time to start this Sunday against Cornish Pirates," he said.

"We'll be back on the training pitch on Tuesday, working extremely hard. We won't rest on our laurels – we'll be trying to put a few things right – because there's nobody more frustrated than the players when we make mistakes.

"It's frustrating when you're out there and you're involved in the things that swing the momentum back to the opposition. So we'll be back in training on Tuesday, trying to put things right."

Such is the quest for perfection in the Bristol ranks that no one was getting carried away by Saturday evening's bonus-point win – the club's first at Rotherham since 2009.

Johnston did acknowledge, however, how pleasing it was to win at a venue where Bristol have struggled in recent years. The Welshman was involved in Bristol's 44-6 defeat at Clifton Lane in October 2011.

"I remember when we had that hiding against Rotherham – and that was probably one of the lowest points of my career, going up there and losing by that many points," he said.

"So it's pleasing to get a win but there's still plenty to work on. For us, it's about building up performances – and it will be nice to be back on a firm, wide pitch at the Mem on Sunday, playing in front of our own fans."

Bristol are now unbeaten in the Championship since losing against Leeds on December 1 – and are 18 points ahead of fifth-placed London Scottish in the quest for a play-off place. That means they need only 13 points from their remaining six regular-season games – against Cornish Pirates, Leeds, Ealing, Moseley, London Welsh and London Scottish – to guarantee a top-four place.

"If I'm being completely honest, I don't look at the table," said Johnston. "It has to be taken game by game in this league – if you start looking at things too far in front, you're going to get bitten on the backside.

"It's game by game – the Pirates are up next for us, back at the Mem, and we'll look to put another performance together then. It's probably been said before, but it's not about where we are now, it's about where we're going.

"We're aspiring to big things – and ultimately if we're going to achieve that then we have to go to places like Rotherham and pick up results."

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