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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, February 3rd 2021

Talking points: Sale Sharks (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 eight Gallagher Premiership clash with Sale Sharks at Ashton Gate (7.45PM KO, live on BT Sport 1HD).

'We'll need to be better'

Pat Lam on room for improvement: “The first half (against Bath) was excellent on attack, but at the end of the game, we were disappointed with the second half, because we had the opportunity to score more tries,” he said.

“But what I was really pleased about on reflection was the amount of work the boys did on defence. We had to defend a lot more in the second half, so to keep them out, even right at the end when they were hammering away at our line, we could have easily said: ‘oh well, the game is won’ but it was real character to work as a team, stay in system and put the body on the line and keep them off.

“There was a lot of positives (against Bath), but we’ve focused a lot on what we can better, and what we’ll need to do better, against a tough Sale team this weekend.”

'A real challenge for us'

John Afoa on Friday's game: “Sale are no joke – you look at their team and what they can do, how they play the game, it’s very different to what we’ve faced in the last couple of weeks.

“It’s going to be a real challenge for us. They are very stingy in defence, they’ve got some big carriers, and we’ve got to make sure we’re switched on.

“We’ve had a good couple of days so far, but we’ve got two days to prep now to make sure we are ready for Friday because the last couple of games have been really close at home and they’ve tucked us up in the away games.”

The rumour mill

Lam on rumours surrounding Ben Earl and Max Malins: “Those boys are Saracens players, they are contracted to Saracens and we loaned them for one year. It is very clear.

“Of course they are enjoying it, and of course we are enjoying having them here, but it is a mutual thing.

“They put their full heart and soul into their rugby and buy into our culture at the Bears and we put our heart and soul into preparing them and developing them, but it was always very clear from the beginning that they would go back to Saracens because they have got long term contracts with Saracens.

“So all of this speculation is funny to read and it is not right as all.”


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