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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, December 31st 2019

Press bitesize: Leicester Tigers (a) - Gallagher Premiership

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam and prop, John Afoa faced the media ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers at Welford Road (1pm KO).


Eliminating errors

John Afoa says Bristol must eliminate errors from their game when they travel to Leicester this weekend.

"I think the key for us was that there were so many good things that we had done, and it’s just a case of looking at the things we didn’t do well, whether it was our passing or holding on to the ball, losing it in contact.

"If we can eliminate some of those, get our D going in certain areas, on first phase or two-man tackles, if we plug that, we’ll be able to hold those games out and get our game going.

"We’re going to look at Leicester, look at their strengths, but the key is that we make sure we get our game going. We know the kind of game we want to play; we know how to play that game, it’s just making sure that under pressure or when things are not going right, we can turn the corner and get it going the right way.

"And that could be our kicking game, our set piece, our speed of ball, but if we get that going, we know we can put Leicester under pressure."


Channeling frustration

Pat Lam says Bristol Bears are relishing the challenge of a trip to Welford Road, as they look to end a run of three games without a win against an improving Leicester Tigers side.

The Director of Rugby, who also reflected on the disappointment of last weekend’s defeat to Wasps, says the Bears are ‘under no illusions’ about the test they face on Saturday, but has urged his side to channel their frustration into the round eight clash.

“As I said after the (Wasps) game, there was a real sense of disappointment for the whole squad, but that has to be channelled back into our week,” said Lam.

“So far, the training week has been really good and it’s what you typically expect – and more so, because of the challenge we face on the weekend.

“Leicester are getting stronger and stronger, all of their big players are stepping up, and Welford Road, as we saw last season, is a tough place to go to.

“We’re under no illusions about what we face, but it has to be prepped by good training, on the back of what we face and where we’re coming from."


Year in review

John Afoa reflected on a year of progress at Bristol Bears and insists the club is on an upward curve.

"The first seven rounds last year, compared to this year, we’re in a much better place and everyone has got a better understanding of how we want to play the game.

"Whoever is asked to play, they know what is expected and the level we need to play at to get the kind of wins that we want for this club."


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