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Will Carpenter


Posted Tuesday, January 8th 2019

Enisei-STM press in brief: five things we learned

Assistant coach, Conor McPhillips and hooker, Nick Fenton-Wells faced the media ahead of Saturday's European Challenge Cup clash with Russian side, Enisei-STM in Sochi - here's what we learned from this week's press session.


Fenton-Wells says Bristol Bears are fully-focused on the job in hand when they travel to Sochi.

“Winning away in La Rochelle means we have taken our destiny into our own hands, but we’re focusing solely on this week and what we need to do, we’ll worry about the return fixture after Saturday.

“As a club, we understand that it’s not about the player, it’s about what the player can do for the team."

Eyes on the prize

McPhillips says Bristol Bears are targeting a last-eight berth in the competition, and are keen to build on recent momentum. 

"Our key focus is to make a European quarter-final and that's still within our grasp and our control," he said.

"It's a long trip and very different to going to France or Italy, but this group knows they can go away and win in these environments. So, to go to Sochi is different and our key focus is to build on the momentum from last week."

Business as usual

Fenton-Wells insists it'll be business as usual, despite the long journey to Russia for the European clash.

“Regardless of what’s on the game, we strive every weekend for five points, whoever we are playing. I think that’s one thing Pat has instilled in us – each week, five points are on offer and that’s what we go for. Nothing changes this week, it’s going to be exactly the same thing.

“So, everybody is expected to be able to do the role that is expected of them. Everyone knows what their role is and if we execute properly, we’ll always have a chance.”

Travel blueprint

McPhillips says an early arrival in Sochi will give the players plenty of time to get over the long-haul travel to Sochi.

The squad set off on Wednesday before flying to Sochi via Moscow.

"Because we get there early, we'll be able to get the travel out of the players' legs and then we'll our usual Thursday session and captain's run on Friday - just carrying on what we do here, in another country."

Russian roulette

Fenton-Wells said Bristol will need to be wary of a dangerous Enisei side, highlighting their broken-field play and their set-piece as areas of strength. 

"We’ve seen that they’ve scored some pretty good tries off of loose play, so we’ll want to look after the ball.

“They’ve got a very good scrum, so Mark Irish has had us previewing and reviewing our scrum sessions this week in preparation."

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