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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Monday, September 3rd 2018

‘Supporters got us over the line’ - Luatua

Steven Luatua lavished praise on the Bristol Bears supporters, after a crowd of more than 26,000 saw them open their Gallagher Premiership account with a 17-10 victory over Bath at Ashton Gate on Friday night.

The All Black, who was named captain for the night, credited the Ashton Gate faithful for ‘giving an arm and a leg’ to get the hosts over the line, as Alapati Leiua’s late score sealed victory in BS3.

“It was great to play in front of a packed-out stadium,” said Luatua.

“The Bristolians definitely gave us an arm and a leg when times were tough, and we thank them for that. We wouldn’t have got through today without their support.”

Luatua, who made 11 tackles and eight carries in an impressive individual display, credited his side for their defensive resilience and attacking prowess.

“I’m obviously proud of the efforts we put out there today,” he said. “We knew coming into the game it was going to need to be a huge shift from the boys, because Bath are a class side.

“It was great to play in front of a packed-out stadium. The Bristolians definitely gave us an arm and a leg when times were tough, and we thank them for that. We wouldn’t have got through today without their support.”

Steven Luatua

“It took us until 70 minutes to get the try but we knew we had to grind them out and we did that with scoreboard pressure. Mads (Ian Madigan) was class with the boot tonight and we came away with the win.

“There was a bit of a lull there where we gave away a few penalties and they got back into the game with a try. But we’ll grow and learn from that, we can’t have those patches against class teams.

“But I was thoroughly impressed – I guess the word is ‘team’. Everyone did their role today, our lineout functioned well, our scrum was under pressure at times but we problem solved and got back on the board, and our backs took their opportunities, with Moz (Luke Morahan) lighting up to create tries.

“We’re heading in the right direction and we know it doesn’t get any easier. We’ll enjoy this result and then, come Monday, we’ll hit the ground running and look forward to Saracens next weekend.”


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