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Will Carpenter


Posted Thursday, December 5th 2019

Press bitesize: Stade Français (h) - European Challenge Cup

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam and centre, Piers O'Conor faced the media ahead of Saturday's European Challenge Cup clash with Stade Français at Ashton Gate.

In it to win it

Pat Lam has made no secret of the fact that Bristol Bears are out to win the Challenge Cup this season - and the Director of Rugby says his side are focussed on righting the wrongs of last week.

"We want to win this trophy and this game is part of the process of doing that," he said.

"We’ve got to get those points to get us the home quarter final, and we’re committed to that.

"But what last week’s game gives us is a real motivation to improve on the areas where we let five points slip, just from little, simple things. So, ultimately, that’s been a big driver for us."

Challenge accepted

Piers O'Conor says the Bears are well aware of the challenges posed by Stade Français.

“Stade (Français) have got some very good players who can create something from anywhere and out of nothing. We’ve got to stay within our systems and within what we know.

“We know how we want to play, and we also know that French sides, on their day, can produce anything, so we can’t be complacent in that. We need to stick to what we do and we’re very focused on doing that.

“We want to win this competition and it’s a good opportunity for us. We’re playing some good rugby at the moment; we have aspirations to play at the top level in the Champions Cup and this is a good opportunity for us to get up there.”

Piutau staying put

Pat Lam also hailed the retention of Charles Piutau, after the full back signed a two-year extension at Ashton Gate.

“Charles is an outstanding team man and a world class talent. He has the ability to create opportunities out of nothing for the team, so we’re delighted that he’s committed to the Bears and our vision,” he said.

“What has been most pleasing is how enthusiastic Charles is about the Bears, his team-mates and the city. He applied for, and was appointed to the role of community leader in the player leadership group this season, which underlines how much he cares about the community."