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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Monday, December 10th 2018

‘Missed chances cost us’ - Lam

Pat Lam was left to rue a series of missed opportunities as his young Bristol Bears side were beaten by Top 14 high-flyers La Rochelle at Ashton Gate in the European Challenge Cup.

Bristol led until the 39th-minute thanks to scores from Harry Thacker and Jake Heenan, before the French side hit back with the game’s next five tries to put the result beyond doubt.

Tom Pincus and Charlie Powell earned the hosts a consolation bonus-point late on, with Lam insisting his young charges would learn from the result.  

“I thought we started really well - we scored a very good forwards try, and the second try by Jake Heenan was outstanding, straight off the training pitch with the simple things done exceptionally well,” he said.

“But we missed some other chances and let them in for a try against the run of play, and then we had probably three or four chances to really push on and we didn’t take them unfortunately, through execution and decision-making. They then they scored another try against the run of play right before half-time.

“You can see why La Rochelle are third in the Top 14, they are a quality side and we knew that beforehand, but we were determined to play a lot of the English qualified players and young players."

Pat Lam, head coach

“In the second-half, we had an opportunity on one of our set-piece plays and the pass wasn’t quite right, but then we let ourselves down by conceding two of three tries that were fairly soft.

“But credit to the boys, they fought back into it. There was a lot of good rugby and a lot of good growth and learning for this group of guys.

“You can see why La Rochelle are third in the Top 14, they are a quality side and we knew that beforehand, but we were determined to play a lot of the English qualified players and young players, like Mat Protheroe and Charlie Powell.

“A lot of these guys played Shield rugby on Sunday and they came in today.

“Mat was outstanding, and I thought it was a good quality game for him to come back in here at Ashton Gate and Charlie Powell, he was at school, Bristol Grammar School, not so long ago, and him coming through is exactly our vision.

“We have signed him long term and it was great for his development.”


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