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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, April 20th 2021

‘Chiefs pose the ultimate challenge’ - Lam

Pat Lam says Exeter Chiefs pose the ultimate challenge, as his Bears side prepare to welcome the reigning Premiership and European Champions to Ashton Gate for Friday’s top-of-the-table clash (7.45pm KO, live on BT Sport 1 HD).

The Bears maintained their 12-point lead at the top of the Gallagher Premiership with a five-try bonus-point win at Kingston Park on Saturday, while Rob Baxter’s Chiefs stormed to a 43-13 thrashing of Wasps at Sandy Park – and Lam believes the Chiefs are still the team to beat in England.

“Exeter are always a dangerous team. They are European champions, Premiership champions – they are the team. Rob (Baxter) and Ali Hepher have done a tremendous job – the two of them have worked well together and I was so pleased for them last year with what they achieved.

"They certainly had their chances against Leinster, and we were disappointed for them, and we were obviously gutted to be knocked out of the Champions Cup as well. You always want the Premiership teams to go through and we all missed good chances to do it.

'Down to the wire'

“Now, our focus is on trying to get to the top of the Premiership mountain, and these guys (Exeter) are the guys who have been there for the last few years and we’ve always had big games against them.

“Rob’s created a good template and they’ve got an identity and a game they want to play, so that gives everyone clarity. They’ve got good leadership and they’ve got continuity.

“In all my time here, all but one of the games have been decided by one-score. We got out to two scores the last time we played them, but we’re expecting much of the same again – a really good battle that goes right down to the wire.”


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