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Will Carpenter


Posted Wednesday, November 6th 2019

Press bitesize: Exeter Chiefs (a) - Gallagher Premiership

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam and flanker, Jake Heenan faced the media ahead of Sunday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.

Challenge accepted

Pat Lam says Bristol Bears must be ‘emotionally and physically invested’ in Sunday’s clash with Exeter Chiefs, as they go in search of a first away win of the Gallagher Premiership season.

“There’s no doubt they are very power reliant in their game - go forward, gain line – and you have to be physically and emotionally invested in the game, and you have to work as a team,” said Lam.

“It’s about structure, it’s about contact, but working as a team. If you go as individuals, they’ll eat you up, as they do with most teams.

“So, that’s the mental part of this game, but to be right physically is huge. Last year, we played them, three times and we were all within one score – and it’s the little things.

“You can do things perfectly nine times out of ten, but it’s that one time, and that’s why I like these sorts of games.

“This is close to an international, they’re real big games. One mistake can cost you, and that’s a good challenge for the growth of this team.”

All together now

Jake Heenan praised the Bears' togetherness in victory over Sale, as they dug deep to earn a fourth successive home win of the season.

"They were trying conditions against a very big and a quality Sale team. I think we executed our game plan very well.

"The times we didn’t, we had to work hard, and it was very pleasing that when we were a man down, with big boys coming hard at our line, we were able to stand our ground and boys rallied together to get the win."

Lucky number seven

Lam also hailed the battle for the number seven shirt at Bristol, with Jake Heenan and Dan Thomas doing battle at openside. 

"I’ve known Jake (Heenan) from back when he was in the U18s at the Blues in Auckland, and I brought him over to Connacht and then brought him here, because I know the quality of the player," said Lam.

"He was New Zealand U20 captain, he’d just been unfortunately hit by injury, but he’s a different type of player to say, a Dan Thomas. They’re really mates, they’re good competitors, and I want that sort of competition right throughout the squad."