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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, October 22nd 2019

Lam urges Bears to raise their game on the road

Pat Lam insists Bristol Bears wasted little time in switching focus to their first away trip of the Gallagher Premiership campaign, as they prepare for the challenge of Harlequins on Saturday (3pm KO).

The Director of Rugby, who praised his side for rising to the occasion against Bath in front of a record Ashton Gate crowd, says attention has quickly turned to a ‘good, all-round’ Quins side, who came close to beating Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park in round one.

“It’s always good to win, regardless of the game, but the next day the focus was getting prepared for this week. Not long after the full-time whistle, the coaches do a quick review, we talk about the week, we look at the game plan we want to use, and then we try and get as much preparation done so that we’re ready to go on Monday morning.

“With away games, it’s all about getting the preparation right in the week and getting over there and embracing the challenge.

“We understand the challenge we face – Harlequins ran Exeter real close and were unlucky not to win that game actually.

“All of the teams that started off with losses will be keen to get a win on the board. But for us, it’s a good opportunity to get down there and build on what we did on the weekend. We know it wasn’t perfect and while there was lots of good stuff, there’s things we can do a lot better and that’s what we’re working away on.”

Lam also commended the job of his opposite number, Paul Gustard, who guided Quins to a fifth-place finish in his first season in charge.

And Lam says his side must take their preparation to the next level ahead of Saturday’s clash in West London.

“Paul Gustard is doing a great job – he’s a good friend of mine, we’ve known each other for a while.

“He’s had great experience with Saracens and then with England and you can see he’s put a real tough edge at Quins, and they’re playing well.

“They’ve got a lot of togetherness and as we said to the boys when they came off, it’s just going to get tougher – and the challenge we face now, particularly after Quins lost in a close game, goes up another level. So, it’s important our preparation go up a level too.

“Defensively, they’re very good and so is their attack – they’re a very good, all-round team. They’ve brought in Sean Long, a great rugby league player, to help with their attack and you can see the difference it is making.

“Tie that all in with a good culture, that’s why they are tough to play against.

“They just missed out on the top four last season, they were going well the whole way and had a great year under Paul (Gustard), and they will step up as well.”

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