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Will Carpenter


Posted Tuesday, May 14th 2019

Newcastle Falcons press in brief: five things we learned

Head coach Pat Lam and flanker Dan Thomas faced the media ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park - here's what we learned from this week's press session.

Top six target

Dan Thomas insists Bristol are fully-focused on a top six finish and signing off the season in style.

“We’re going up to Newcastle with the attitude that we want to win, and we want to put a performance in,” he said.

“We’ve still got a chance to get in the top six, and until that final whistle is blown, we’ll be going for that.

“We’re excited to go up to Kingston Park and we want to finish the season on a high. We’ve got a lot still to play for, so we’re going up there fully-focused and motivated.”

Celebrating the season

Pat Lam says Bristol are determined to celebrate a successful season when they take on Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.

"We talk about, each week, celebrating the work we have done during the week – and certainly the boys have made it clear that they want to celebrate the work we have done all season.

"It's important to acknowledge that this is the final game we will all be together before the group is disbanded."

Raising the bar

Thomas believes consistency has been key to a successful second half of the season, but says Bristol must raise the bar ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

“Inside the group, we’ve known what we are capable of," he said.

"In the first half of the season we saw, in parts, what we could, but in recent weeks, we’ve been more consistent in our performances and getting good results.

“Now, everyone knows what we can do and it’s just about bringing high consistency to every game.”

Relationship status

Lam also hailed the 'growth and relationships' built at Bristol Bears throughout the season.

"We’ve come a long way – as a group, as coaches, as staff, because everyone is committed to growing relationships and everyone is committed to giving 100% in everything, and if you do that, naturally growth will happen.

"I can’t overstate how important it is to build relationships. When we’ve been under pressure, that’s really kicked in, and it’s led to some awesome learning."

Repaying the faith

After an impressive debut campaign in the top-flight, both individually and collectively, Thomas is pleased with the progress made, but keen to kick on and raise the bar next season.

“I’m happy with how things are going and hope to keep repaying the faith shown in me,” he said.

“The Premiership has been a huge step up, but going into next season, we’ll know exactly what to expect and look to keep improving."

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