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Let’s take our game to next level against Blues - Thomas

  • 'We showed defensive improvements against Richmond on Sunday'
  • 'Let's take our game to the next level at Goldington Road'
  • 'Bedford clash will be a step up in intensity - we need to be ready for it'
  • 'Blues have good balance to their game and pose a big challenge'

Defence coach Jonathan Thomas has challenged Bristol Rugby to take their game to the next level when they take on Bedford Blues at Goldington Road on Saturday.

Thomas - who described Bristol’s defensive performance against Richmond as ‘improved’ – insists the Blues will pose the sternest test of the season so far and has called on his players to nullify their ‘many threats’.

“The biggest thing we’ve spoken about in the past two weeks is trying to get everyone on the same page and making sure we’re all working to the same system,” he said.

“I think maybe, in the first two weeks, we’ve been a little bit guilty of trying a bit too hard as individuals and sometimes going out of that system."

Jonathan Thomas has challenges his players to take their game to the next level at Goldington Road (JMP UK).

“So the pleasing thing on the weekend was that there were improvements in that area – but as a defence coach, you’re never happy when you concede so it would have been nice to keep Richmond to nil.”

Thomas says Bristol face a step up in intensity at Goldington Road against a Bedford side with ‘good balance’ to their game.

“We’ve got some tough games coming up and we need to go up to the next level now,” he said.

“Goldington Road is a tough place to go, we know it’s a bit of a fortress for them and it’ll need be a step up in intensity."

Jonathan Thomas, defence coach

“We can be pleased that, system wise, we’re showing improvements, but Bedford away is a tough game for us – and we’ve got Ealing and London Scottish to follow that – so we need to go to the next level with our defence and overall game.

“Goldington Road is a tough place to go, we know it’s a bit of a fortress for them and it’ll be a step up in intensity.

“Bedford have got really good balance to their game and they’ve got the ability to play through teams with some really strong forward runners. They’ve also got a good kicking game and a strong maul as well, so for us, it’s a good challenge.”

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