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Will Carpenter


Posted Wednesday, November 14th 2018

Exeter Chiefs press in brief: five things we learned

Head coach, Pat Lam and back-row, Steven Luatua faced the media ahead of Sunday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Exeter Chiefs at Ashton Gate - here's what we learned from this week's press session. 

Luatua on layers

Steven Luatua says Bristol Bears are adding layers to their game and culture as the season progresses. 

"At the crux of it all, if you can have a team that works hard for one another, then you can pretty much build anything on it," he said.

"We’re slowly adding layers to that, our cohesion and composure showed last weekend in certain situations.

"But we’ve got to do that for 80 minutes and we’re confident that we’re heading in the right direction."

Chiefs challenge

Pat Lam insists Bristol are relishing the challenge of facing the unbeaten Chiefs on Sunday.

It’s exactly why you play this game. You want to play and challenge yourself against the best teams and there’s no doubt that Exeter, as well as Saracens, they’re top of the Premiership and you can see why.

"Their coaching group and core group of players have all come through together and they play a great, successful brand of rugby.

"So, this is all geared up nicely to challenge and test ourselves, not only as rugby players, but it’s also a character test."

Support network

Luatua also hailed the impact of the Ashton Gate support, highlighting the opening day victory over Bath as a memorable occasion.

"Against Bath, the supporters gave us our ‘wind’ so to speak, so when it got tough, we knew we didn’t want to let our teammates or the supporters down," he said.

"The support from the city is inspiring and we hope we can deliver a result for them."

Home comforts

Lam says his side are determined to give a bumper Ashton Gate crowd a performance top be proud of.

"It’s a fantastic stadium and a place that we’re extremely proud of. Our fans have been fantastic and there are a lot of boys who get a real buzz from the support we get home and away, but especially at Ashton Gate.

"We understand that responsibility and want to give them a performance to be very proud of."

Teamwork makes the dreamwork

Lam insists a 'collective effort' is required from his side at Ashton Gate on Sunday.

"We’ve got to play as a team, play our game and put them under pressure – but you can only put them under pressure through teamwork, whether that’s defensively or the way that we play on our attack," he said.

"We need to show a lot of care for the ball and look after it, so it’s about complete teamwork. Individually, you’ll never beat a team like that, but collectively we’ve got a great chance."

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