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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, September 15th 2020

Lam relishing mouthwatering knockout clash

Pat Lam has urged his side to rise to the occasion when they take on Dragons in the last eight of the European Challenge Cup at Ashton Gate on Friday night.

The Bears enjoyed an unbeaten pool stage to earn home advantage and a second place seeding for the knockout stages – and the Director of Rugby says preparation for the Anglo-Welsh clash has been strong.

'A huge opportunity'

“The excitement of the guys has gone up another level,” said Lam. “To come into a knockout rugby game, with the opportunity that, at the end of that final whistle, you can go into a home semi-final, it’s huge for the club, but also the players.

“I think the players recognise the work that we did to put ourselves in this situation – they certainly don’t want to waste that opportunity and want to be at their best. So, coming in Monday, after the game against Wasps, the boys that didn’t play, who were rested, came in and brought a lot of energy and it was a great session. This whole week there has been a spring in the step.”

Friday night’s meeting sees Lam come up against friend and former teammate, Dean Ryan – and it’s a reunion the Bears boss is relishing.

'Control is crucial'

“Dean (Ryan) is a great man, a great coach and the teams he coaches are certainly reflective of who he is – a good man and tough.

“So, there’s no doubt we’ll see that on Friday night – they will be well prepared, they’ve had a couple of weeks to build up for this game, probably longer, so we’re under no illusions.

“People put us as favourites because we’re at home, but we’re under no illusions of what we face and making sure we’re prepared for that and are able to bring, and control, our game is crucial.”


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