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Will Carpenter


Posted Tuesday, January 15th 2019

Enisei-STM press in brief: five things we learned

Head coach, Pat Lam and centre, Same Bedlow faced the media ahead of Saturday's European Challenge Cup clash with Enisei-STM at Ashton Gate - here's what we learned from this week's press session.

'In our hands'

Sam Bedlow emphasised the fact that Bristol Bears' Challenge Cup quarter-final prospects are in their own hands, with a bonus-point win looking likely to seal a place in the last eight.

“It’s a good position to be in, we know what we’ve got to do, and we know what we’ve got to do to get there,” he said.

“It’s a good competition and I think it’s more than ten years since Bristol have been in the knockout stages of Europe, so it’ll be good to get out there, get the win and out ourselves in that position."

From Russia with points

Pat Lam praised the 'professional effort' of his players and staff following Saturday's 11-try victory in Sochi. 

"It was a real professional effort and the boys did a good job," he said.

"People probably underestimate the travel that you have and acclimatising to different conditions, but the boys did a good job and the staff did a good job, got us all over there and got the job done.

"So, it’s good now that we can host them here in Bristol."

Repeat performance

Bedlow called for a repeat performance against a 'dangerous' Enisei side, with the centre praising the athleticism of the Russians. 

“The score line last weekend was obviously good for us, but to be fair to them, Enisei are a good side with a lot of good athletes in their team and could have caused us damage if we hadn’t stuck to our structures and stuck to what we did.

“That’s the challenge for us, to do that again this weekend and if we do that, the score line will look after itself.”

Opportunity knocks

Lam expressed his delight in the growth and development if his fully English-qualified squad during the majority of the Challenge Cup campaign.

"You give guys opportunities and it’s up to them to take and when they do, it just grows our squad, it grows their development as individuals.

"But it certainly grows us as a team too and that’s been the pleasing thing about the European Challenge Cup – a lot of the guys who have had limited opportunities have stepped up and added to the squad."

Incoming international

Lam was delighted to secure the signing of Nathan Hughes for three years from the 2019/20 campaign, after the England number eight's arrival was announced.

“It’s tremendous to secure Nathan’s signing and to see how excited he is about coming to Bristol and helping us realise our vision,” said Lam.

“He’s a quality rugby player who brings physicality, power and brute strength to our game."

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