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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Thursday, February 25th 2021

Lam seeking response against in-form Tigers

Pat Lam has urged his side to ‘take their medicine and bounce back’ when they welcome Leicester Tigers to Ashton Gate on Saturday, after the Bears squandered a 21-point lead to draw 34-34 with London Irish last time out.

The Bears squandered a 21-point lead to draw 34-34 with London Irish last time out and the Director of Rugby is expecting a huge physical challenge from a Leicester side that Lam believes has reverted to ‘the Tigers of old’.

'Couldn’t have asked for a better challenge'

“We’ve taken our medicine and we have to bounce back against an in-form Leicester team,” he said.

“They’ve gone back to the Leicester of old – they’ve recruited some big South Africans and Argentinians, and Richard Wigglesworth, who is one of the best box kickers. They have struggled over the last few years, and Leicester supporters always talk about the club DNA, and that’s where they look like they are heading.

“They’ve got a dominant forward pack, good go-forward, and a kicking game that can put you under pressure, so it’s a good challenge for us. Our forward pack has been going well, but we were disappointed with our performance at the weekend, so you couldn’t have asked for a better challenge to bounce back in.

'Response needed'

“Steve (Borthwick) is rebuilding Leicester and this weekend is a huge challenge, but it’s enjoyable. Throw in the fact that we are the ones with the target on our back because we’re ahead of the pack at the moment, it makes it more difficult, but that’s what we want. It’s all very well for guys to just play rugby, but we’re now playing with all of those pressures – and the diamonds comes from the pressure.

"The team we want to become comes from playing these games, dealing with adversity. Having a 21-point lead with 16 minutes to go and drawing the game – how do we respond; how do we learn? That’s what I said to the guys when we did the review: all of you who were on the field for that last 20 minutes, you’re the privileged ones, you’re the ones who went through it and learn from it, so it’s a plus for them.”


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