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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Thursday, February 25th 2021

Talking points: Leicester Tigers (h) - Gallagher Premiership

Check out they key talking points from this week's media session, as Director of Rugby, Pat Lam and prop John Afoa previewed the round 11 Gallagher Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers at Ashton Gate (1pm KO, live on BT Sport Extra).

'Bouncing back'

Pat Lam on facing Leicester Tigers: “We’ve taken our medicine and we have to bounce back against an in-form Leicester team,” he said.

“They’ve gone back to the Leicester of old – they’ve recruited some big South Africans and Argentinians, and Richard Wigglesworth, who is one of the best box kickers. They have struggled over the last few years, and Leicester supporters always talk about the club DNA, and that’s where they look like they are heading.

“They’ve got a dominant forward pack, good go-forward, and a kicking game that can put you under pressure, so it’s a good challenge for us. Our forward pack has been going well, but we were disappointed with our performance at the weekend, so you couldn’t have asked for a better challenge to bounce back in.

Halfway house

John Afoa on Saturday's challenge: “Leicester been playing well and like all of the teams, you go through good spells and bad spells. Their game has been going well, they’ve got a good set-piece.

“They are a serious side with a big old meaty pack, so it’s going to be a challenge for sure. We haven’t been as good as we hoped in the last few weeks, but we feel like we’ve still got the goods in us to make sure we’re better than we were last week.

“It’s the final game of the first half of the season, so it would be nice to move into the second half in a position where we are still on top."

'Tigers on the rise'

Pat Lam on Leicester's revival: “Steve (Borthwick) is rebuilding Leicester and this weekend is a huge challenge, but it’s enjoyable. Throw in the fact that we are the ones with the target on our back because we’re ahead of the pack at the moment, it makes it more difficult, but that’s what we want. It’s all very well for guys to just play rugby, but we’re now playing with all of those pressures – and the diamonds comes from the pressure.

"The team we want to become comes from playing these games, dealing with adversity. Having a 21-point lead with 16 minutes to go and drawing the game – how do we respond; how do we learn? That’s what I said to the guys when we did the review: all of you who were on the field for that last 20 minutes, you’re the privileged ones, you’re the ones who went through it and learn from it, so it’s a plus for them.”



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