Bristol Bears' director of rugby Pat Lam admitted his "huge disappointment" after his side missed the opportunity to reach their first Premiership.
Bristol threw away a 28-0 lead against Harlequins at Ashton Gate and the Quins responded with four unanswered tries to send the game into extra-time.
The London club managed to secure a 43-36 win after extra time. Full match report here.
"We had many chances to finish that game off but we will have to take defeat on the chin," said Lam.
"Being 28-0 down you have to give massive credit to Harlequins to come back in that way by playing their style of rugby which is a real credit to the game.
"It's a huge disappointment but we are finally getting a break after a long hard year. At least we fired some shots in this semi-final, unlike last year, and it's still been an incredible year."
Quins general manager Billy Millard explained that the team did not panic despite falling so far behind.
"It was surprisingly calm as we knew we had to stay in the game and we just made a few minor alterations," he said.
"We had to get the scoreboard moving to gain momentum."
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