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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, November 7th 2018

Wasps press in brief: five things we learned

Scrum coach, Mark Irish and second-row, Aly Muldowney faced the media ahead of Sunday's Premiership Rugby Cup clash with Wasps at the Ricoh Arena - here's what we learned from this week's press session. 

Pack mentality

Aly Muldowney hailed the performance of the Bristol Bears pack during last weekend's victory over Gloucester - and called for a repeat showing on Sunday.

“As a forward pack, we were really pleased with the Gloucester game," he said.

"We put in a lot of hard work off of the field, so it was good to see the transition from the training ground to the pitch – especially up front.

"We’ve been working really hard with (forwards coach) Jon Thomas and (scrum coach) Iro (Mark Irish) and we saw that reflected on the pitch.” 

Reaping the rewards

Mark Irish attributed his side's forward dominance against Gloucester to the hard work being put in behind the scenes.

"It was obviously nice for the forwards to rumble over for a couple of scores. The hard work that has gone in from JT (Jonathan Thomas) and Mul (John Muldoon), just the rest of the group, the players as well. It’s how wholeheartedly they are committed to the cause.

"Their investment has been excellent in that area, and on the weekend, we saw probably a little snippet of the investment that they have put in."

Laying down a marker

Muldowney believes Sunday's clash with Wasps will give Bristol Bears the opportunity to lay down a marker ahead of a return to Gallagher Premiership action.

“Wasps have got some of the most dangerous players in the country, so we’re expecting a tough game this weekend,” he said.

“We’re building back into the Premiership, so we’ll probably see a lot of stronger teams this week. It will be a good test and a good chance to see where we are before we get on to Exeter."

Back in the game

After a three-month injury lay-off, Muldowney admitted it was great to be back in action, after coming on as a second-half replacement last Friday.

“I hadn’t played since January, so definitely had the butterflies leading into the week, but it was worth it,” he said.

“It was bit of a freak injury with the neck – we just thought it was a bit sore, but I had the scan and found out it was a bit worse.

"So, it was really frustrating and quite depressing at the time, but then once you’ve got your head around it, you just focus on getting it right and getting ready to go.”

Wasps' weaponry

Irish insisted Wasps would provide a stern test at the Ricoh Arena this weekend, regardless of the team selected. 

"No matter who plays for them, they’ve got a very good brand of rugby. From a forwards perspective, they’ve got a good pack no matter who they pick.

"So, for us, the challenge is: can we take that step forward from last week? The Ricoh is a tough place to go."