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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, August 18th 2020

Lam urges Bears to impose their game at Kingsholm

Pat Lam says the Bears must impose their game on Gloucester when the sides meet at Kingsholm on Friday night (7.45pm KO, live on BT Sport red button/app).

The Director of Rugby hailed his side’s defensive effort in Saturday’s victory over Saracens at Ashton Gate, but is expecting a very different game against the Cherry and Whites, who head into the derby clash off the back of a bonus-point thrashing of 14-man Worcester.

'Gloucester showed real quality'

“Even though there’s a change of coaching staff, one thing that is consistent is that Gloucester are a momentum team,” said Lam.

“They want to go forward and although it was helped by playing 14 men, they showed some real quality (against Worcester).

“Nothing has changed too much in what they want to achieve, it’s going to be up to us to show we can deal with that and impose our game on them – and certainly, it will be a different kind of game against Gloucester, compared to Saracens.”

Lam hailed his side’s ability to win ugly against Saracens at Ashton Gate last week, particularly the determined defensive effort to blunt the reigning champions - but the Bears boss knows there is still room for improvement this weekend.

“There’s no coincidence that beat Saracens last year and this year playing a different type of rugby,” he said.

Winning ugly

“When you play Saracens, you have to respect what they do and what’s good about it. The weather made it difficult, so we had to be more disciplined to stay in that sort of game.

“Obviously, the positives were defence, scrum, maul attack and maul defence. The work-ons are lineouts at key times, we didn’t get much ball to attack with because we turned the ball over lots, but the biggest positive was that we got the win and we move on. I think in those sorts of games, we knew it wasn’t going to be pretty, we just had to get the win. We did that and we move on.

“The good thing is, there are no major injuries but there are bumps and bruises obviously with the short turnaround. Selection every week will come down to injuries, niggles, rotation, the opposition and so forth. There’s trust in the squad, so it’s just getting the balance right.”


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