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Will Carpenter


Posted Tuesday, October 22nd 2019

Press bitesize: Harlequins (a) - Gallagher Premiership

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam and second row, Joe Joyce faced the media ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership visit to Harlequins - here's the key points from the press session.

Focus on Quins

Pat Lam insists Bristol Bears wasted little time in switching focus to their first away trip of the Gallagher Premiership campaign, as they prepare for the challenge of Harlequins on Saturday (3pm KO).

“It’s always good to win, regardless of the game, but the next day the focus was getting prepared for this week. Not long after the full-time whistle, the coaches do a quick review, we talk about the week, we look at the game plan we want to use, and then we try and get as much preparation done so that we’re ready to go on Monday morning.

“With away games, it’s all about getting the preparation right in the week and getting over there and embracing the challenge.

“We understand the challenge we face – Harlequins ran Exeter real close and were unlucky not to win that game actually.

“All of the teams that started off with losses will be keen to get a win on the board. But for us, it’s a good opportunity to get down there and build on what we did on the weekend.

“We know it wasn’t perfect and while there was lots of good stuff, there’s things we can do a lot better and that’s what we’re working away on.”

A different beast

Joe Joyce says Harlequins will be 'a different beast' at The Stoop this weekend, and has urged Bristol to back up the victory over Bath.

"We can take confidence from our away form at the end of last season, but Harlequins will be a different beast this weekend," he said.

"They’ve got a lot of variety to the way they play, a good attacking game and good defence as well, so it’s up to us now to back up performances and get another win."

Praise for Gustard

Lam commended the job of his opposite number, Paul Gustard, who guided Quins to a fifth-place finish in his first season in charge.

“Paul Gustard is doing a great job – he’s a good friend of mine, we’ve known each other for a while.

“He’s had great experience with Saracens and then with England and you can see he’s put a real tough edge at Quins, and they’re playing well.

“They’ve got a lot of togetherness and as we said to the boys when they came off, it’s just going to get tougher – and the challenge we face now, particularly after Quins lost in a close game, goes up another level. So, it’s important our preparation go up a level too.