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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, March 27th 2019

La Rochelle press in brief: five things we learned

Head coach Pat Lam and back Luke Daniels faced the media ahead of Sunday's European Challenge Cup quarter-final clash at La Rochelle - here's what we learned from this week's press session.


Fond memories

Luke Daniels says Bristol Bears can take confidence from their 13-3 win at Stade Marcel Deflandre during the competition's pool stages.

It’s a massive challenge for us going to La Rochelle in the quarter finals,” he said.

“We managed to beat them in the pool stages there, so we can take some confidence from that, but we definitely know the challenge ahead and the threats they have.

“It’s a bit cliché, but we do take every game as it comes."



It's a knockout

Pat Lam says a quarter final clash is the perfect preparation for Bristol's end of season run-in, and says knockout rugby brings a change in mindset.

t’s genuine knockout rugby, but our emphasis for the last six games, and hopefully more, is that they are all knockout rugby. So, there is certainly a change in mindset.

"The fact that this is a quarter final helps kick this off."


Rise to the occasion

Luke Daniels has challenged Bristol Bears to 'rise to the occasion' at Stade Marcel Deflandre on Sunday.

"Getting towards the back end of the season and the games are coming thick and fast. Every game for us now is a big game, so we head into all of them with the same mentality – we want to win.”

“It will be a big atmosphere and a big occasion, so we need to rise to it.”


French firepower

Lam says Bristol are fully aware of the threats posed by a powerful La Rochelle side, and insists Sunday's game will be far tougher then the pool stages.

"It gives us confidence, but we’re under no illusions, it’s going to be tougher this time," he said.

"There is more at stake, it’s going to be a fast game – they like to play rugby and they’re big boys.

"But we’re excited by the challenge and we’re confident that if we perform as a team, we’ve got a good chance, and to get to the next stage would be awesome."


L'atmosphère

Both Lam and Daniels hailed the incredible atmosphere at Stade Marcel Deflandre last time out.

"It was an unbelievable atmosphere the last time we were there and the boys did well to come away with the win," said Lam.

Daniels added: “The atmosphere last time was unreal. It was so loud, and you couldn’t really hear what people were saying around you – but then afterwards we could hear the Bristol fans there, chanting and celebrating in the stadium, and that was amazing."


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