Banner image


Will Carpenter


Posted Wednesday, February 27th 2019

Gloucester press in brief: five things we learned

Forwards coach Jonathan Thomas and hooker Harry Thacker faced the media ahead of Friday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Gloucester at Ashton Gate - here's what we learned from this week's press session.

Let's get physical

Harry Thacker says Bristol Bears are relishing the physical test posed by Gloucester at Ashton Gate on Friday night. 

“It’s a big game for us, it’s a local derby and we’re ready for it," he said.

“We’re expecting a big, physical battle up front and the way that they’re playing at the minute, they’re a great team.

"They’ve beaten the two best teams in the league in the past two weeks, and we get excited about that."

Home sweet home

Jonathan Thomas hailed the Ashton Gate support ahead of another bumper crowd in BS3 on Friday night, insisting the influence and impact of the fans cannot be underestimated. 

"When I think back to that Bath game first game of the season, I still get tingles down my spine thinking about how good the crowd was and how they got us over the line in the second-half.

"Same with the Newcastle home game in the second-half, the crowd really have been the 16th man for us, this season."


Thacker has backed Bristol to cut out the unforced errors following frustrating defeats to Wasps and Harlequins.

“There were a lot of unforced errors against Harlequins, or forced on our behalf, that gave them a good foothold in the game – and we’ve seen before with teams like Wasps and Quins, if you give them a good lead like that, it’s always hard to come back.

“But saying that, we got ourselves in a position again to win the game and unfortunately, we couldn’t quite see it out."

Cherry and white challenge

Thomas says Bristol are relishing the challenge of facing a 'quality' Gloucester side on what promises to be a 'fantastic occasion' at Ashton Gate.

"Gloucester are a quality team, they’ve beaten the two best teams in the league in recent weeks, so we know it’s going to be a good test for us as a group," he said.

"But it’s also one we’re really looking forward to. We relish these opportunities – you want to play against the best teams and add the spice of a local derby into that with the crowd that we have, it’s going to be a fantastic occasion."

80-minute pursuit

The pursuit of an 80-minute performance is top of the agenda for Bristol, according to Thacker, as Pat Lam's side look to bounce back from successive league defeats.

“If we stick to our systems and play the rugby we want to play, we’re capable of scoring tries and that’s the main thing for us.

“We want to be the best, so you’ve got to play the best. For us, it’s a good opportunity to step up physically and mentally and try and put in an 80-minute performance and we know that when we do that, we can tear teams apart.”

The Shop