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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Thursday, January 3rd 2019

Exeter Chiefs press in brief: five things we learned

Head coach, Pat Lam and prop, Yann Thomas faced the media ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership clash with table-topping Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park - here's what we learned from this week's press session.


Signing off in style

Pat Lam and Yann Thomas were delighted to sign off 2018 in style with a bonus-point triumph over Newcastle Falcons at a jam-packed Ashton Gate last weekend. 

"It was really good to finish the year with a good win. It was great for the fans, there was a great crowd, but now we move on," said Lam.

“It was a big game for us, to come back to Ashton Gate in front of a big crowd, so to get the win was great for us and we’re now looking forward to the weekend down at Sandy Park," added Thomas.



Let's get physical

Yann Thomas insists Bristol Bears must be prepared for a physical confrontation at Sandy Park on Saturday. 

“It’s a big game, we know what’s going to come.

“Exeter are playing some good rugby at the moment, we know they will be a physical pack," he said.

“The way they’ve been playing over the last couple of years, they’ve been a dominant team in the Premiership, so it’s going to be a physical battle and I’m looking forward to it."


'A monumental effort'

Lam insists it will take a 'monumental effort' from his side on Saturday, as they aim to inflict a first home league defeat since March 2017 on Rob Baxter's side.

"It’s going to take a monumental effort for us as a team to beat Exeter," said Lam.

"But I keep emphasising us as a team, so when you think of the contrast between Sale and Newcastle, it requires us even more so to be a team to take on Exeter on their own patch."


Fighting fire with fire

Thomas says Bristol Bears will have to meet the Chiefs head on and 'embrace the challenge'.

“You’ve got to enjoy the physical confrontation, you’ve got to embrace it.

"You look at the way they’ve been going in the pack, they’ve got one of the most dominant scrums in the league, so that’s a big challenge for us there.

“It’s not one we’re going to shy away from, so we’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can go down there and put in a performance we are proud of.”


The underdogs

Lam says Bristol Bears will be relishing their underdog status when they head to Devon this weekend.

"They lost last week, and they’ve got an eight-day turnaround. They are at home, they haven’t lost there since March.

"The good thing is there is absolutely no excuse for them not to be at their best.

"Everything is stacked against us and that’s the way I like it."


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