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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, May 25th 2021

Lam expecting 'great battle' at the AJ Bell

Pat Lam says his side are anticipating ‘a great battle’ when they take on Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium in Friday’s mouth-watering Gallagher Premiership clash (7.45pm KO, live on BT Sport 1 HD).

Victory in the North West would see the Bears secure a home semi-final with two rounds still to play, but Lam knows the size of the challenge facing his side in round 20.

'Under no illusions'

“This is the final stretch - the boys came in yesterday and there was a bit of a buzz, realising that we’ve got such a tough game on Friday night,” he said.

“The most important thing for us is that we have an opportunity, with five points on offer, four points will seal a home semi. That’s the big incentive, to get the win and if we can secure a home semi-final with two games to go, it will be a tremendous effort.

“It’s one versus three and there’s a lot to play for on both sides. It’s difficult to play away at the AJ Bell Stadium and we understand the challenge we face. Alex (Sanderson) has done a great job, building on the good work that Dimes (Steve Diamond) had done, but Alex has come in and brought his experience and character to the team and they are doing really well, so we are under no illusions.

'A great battle'

“While we want to win the game to secure that goal, it’s going to be far from easy, which is what you want in the Premiership.

“Sale have got a really good spine – Faf (De Klerk) and AJ (Maginty) run the show. We lost the game at Ashton Gate in the last two minutes and they were relentless. It was a good game, a real physical battle going down to the wire. We got ourselves ahead towards the end but coughed up a try late on.

“It’s always been a great battle against Sale and it’s going to be the same again on Friday night.”


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