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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Thursday, August 27th 2020

Mindset the key for Sharks clash, insists Lam

Pat Lam insists mindset is key ahead of Saturday’s round 17 Gallagher Premiership clash with Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium (3pm KO, BT Sport 2 HD/Channel 5).

The Bears suffered a first defeat in eight games against Exeter Chiefs on Tuesday night, as Billy Keast’s 78th-minute try snatched victory for Rob Baxter’s side.

And Lam says his side are relishing the challenge of facing a rejuvenated Sharks outfit this weekend and keen to learn the lessons from their midweek defeat.

An opportunity missed

“Going through the (Exeter Chiefs game) video just confirmed what we thought. The key was that we didn’t start well, and we spent a lot of time on defence. Our phase defence was good, but we conceded two soft tries from system errors on set piece.

“We got back into the game and should have closed it out, but we gave away a lot of penalties and gave Exeter the opportunities.

“Sale have been right up there right throughout the season,” he said. “They’ve made a slower start but have had some tough games first up, and they’ll take a lot of confidence from their win last weekend.

“If you don’t get your mindset right, you’ll get blown away. If you go as individuals, you’ll struggle to get anything at the AJ Bell. We expect their front liners to play having been rested last week.”

Relishing busy period

Saturday’s clash in the north west is a third game in eight days for Lam and his squad, but the Director of Rugby is enjoying the frenetic nature of the season’s condensed conclusion.

“This period is great; I love coming into work. There are two types of job in this world – those you have to do and those you love to do. Of course, there are bruises and bangs, but this why we play and coach rugby.

“(Saturday) is no more important than every game we play, there’s another five points available and that’s the goal. The beauty of the Premiership is that everyone is trying to get to the play offs and to do that, you need points.”


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