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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, February 10th 2021

Lam calls for physicality and control at Kingsholm

Pat Lam says the Bears must bring both physicality and control to Friday night’s West Country derby clash with Gloucester at Kingsholm (7.45pm KO, BT Sport 1 HD).

Luke James’ late try ended the Bears' six-game winning streak at Ashton Gate in round eight and the Director of Rugby says this week’s preparation will dictate the performance.

'A missed opportunity'

“It was obviously disappointing and fair play to Sale. We knew what was coming and on the physicality side of things, we did really well, and it was a really good battle and a big contrast to the week before.

“They are the sort of games you want to play in – at 7-0 against 14 men, we had an opportunity, we didn’t take it, we made mistakes, we allowed them back into the game, and then we worked our way back to 13-12 with six minutes to go and again, we let that lead slip.

“While it’s disappointing, what I was really pleased with is that every player’s learnings came in and matched the notes that we had for them.

“I’ve seen a real determination to bounce back and bounce back well, but we know the quality of the bounce back will depend on the quality of the work we do this week.”

'We must bring control'

In a top versus bottom clash, Lam believes the current Gallagher Premiership table is ‘irrelevant’ and is expecting a tasty battle with the Cherry and Whites.

“It’s a derby game – the table is irrelevant. The fact is that we’ve been in the situation where we’re near the bottom of the table and you’re playing the teams that are above. George (Skivington) doesn’t have to do a big motivational speech this week – it’s Gloucester versus Bristol, no motivation needed, and we expect them to come full noise at us.

“But for us to cope with that, it’s about making sure that we get those learnings, in particular on control and getting technical things right, and bring that physicality as well as control. That is our way to handle that.”


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