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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Sunday, September 9th 2018

'I'm extremely proud of the boys' - Lam

Pat Lam took pride in the commitment and fight of his Bristol Bears side, but admitted the overriding feeling was one of disappointment after a second-half red card for George Smith and a hat-trick from Liam Williams saw Saracens take the spoils at Allianz Park.

Smith was sent off eight minutes into the second half – with the scores level at 18-18 - for an adjudged high tackle on Jackson Wray, and the reigning champions took full advantage to seal a bonus-point win and leave Bristol empty-handed.

“I’m extremely proud of the boys,” said the head coach. “At 18-18, we put them under a lot of pressure, we tried a lot of things we wanted to do differently, and they were really paying off.

“Obviously, it (Smith’s red card) swung the game big time. They looked at it a lot of times, which indicates it’s not clear and obvious. Penalty? Definitely. Yellow card? Possibly – but based on last week, probably not. But a red card was tough to take.

“The last 30 minutes with 14 men is extremely difficult when you play here, because of the way that Saracens play – and the way we made some adjustments in our defence – they try to shorten your line, take you on and then get around and obviously, once George (Smith) is red carded, from the scrum, Billy Vunipola got the try. Then, they worked us again around the corner where we were just men short.

"I’m more proud of the boys this week than I was last week, because I said to them, as we try to grow to be a great team, we’re going to be tested and it’s how we respond – and the boys responded massively."

Pat Lam, head coach

“But I’ve got huge, huge pride. There’s a lot of guys with artificial burns and that’s an easy cop-out not to put the body on the line. They broke us a couple of times early, and the courage and commitment from the boys to get back and hold them out was tremendous.

“We tried to get another try to get at least the bonus point – and we still wanted to get the win – but the main feeling is that we’re disappointed we didn’t get the win.

“But I’m more proud of the boys this week than I was last week, because I said to them, as we try to grow to be a great team, we’re going to be tested and it’s how we respond – and the boys responded massively. We’re going to get better and I look forward to coming back here again.

“We’ve got a six-day turnaround, there’s a few niggles, but hopefully we’ve got as many hands on deck next week and we get to work and look forward to going up to Kingsholm and try and get some points.”


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