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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, December 15th 2020

Randall urges Bears to play with control

Harry Randall has backed his side to bounce back from Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup round one defeat to Clermont Auvergne when they travel to Galway to take on Connacht on Sunday (5.30pm KO, live on BT Sport 1 HD).

The Bears conceded three tries inside the first 16 minutes against a rampant Clermont side, before fighting back to earn a consolation bonus point at Ashton Gate – and Randall says they are eager to make improvements against an impressive Connacht outfit.

'It's a big challenge'

“Connacht really fronted up against Racing and showed the type of team they are,” he said.

“They will put pressure on you and come at you. We know the conditions could well be wet and windy, so it’s a big challenge for us and for the team, and after a loss last weekend, we’re going out there aiming to get the full five points.

“The main area of improvement is cutting out the errors – not allowing them into the game as easy as we did against Clermont. We need to control the game and control the tempo and know we’ve got the game to beat them.”

The defeat to Clermont saw Randall and a number of the Bears side making their first appearance in the Heineken Champions Cup – and the scrum half says they are ready for another big week in Europe’s top competition.

'Big week ahead of us'

“It was a new experience for me, and for a lot of the players out there – it was definitely a new experience for us as a team. There was a lot to take from it, we reviewed the game and know there are a lot of learnings to take into Connacht this weekend. We move on and there’s a big week ahead of us.

“We spoke about gifting Clermont 21 points in 16 minutes, and if you do that, you’re always going to be struggling to get back into it, chasing a team like Clermont, who everyone knows are a quality outfit.

“So, take away that first 16 minutes and we were right in it and there were still opportunities for us to come back and win the game. We were proud of the effort and we know there were patches where we showed we are capable of beating a team like Clermont, which is a positive for us.”


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