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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, September 12th 2018

‘We’ll take confidence to Kingsholm’ - Madigan

Ian Madigan says Bristol Bears will take ‘a lot of confidence’ into Friday’s West Country derby against Gloucester at Kingsholm, after a rousing display last weekend saw them go toe-to-toe with Saracens right up until George Smith’s sending off.

The fly-half, enjoying his first stint in the Gallagher Premiership, praised the fight and resilience of his side at Allianz Park and says he is relishing the atmosphere of another local derby.

“The mood in the camp is really good,” he said. “I thought we acquitted ourselves really well at the weekend.

“From talking to some of the Saracens guys, they felt they were in a really tough rugby match and felt very challenged, so we can take a lot of confidence from that, knowing that we can compete with the best in the league.

“They are a very good side, even the way they got off to a fast start and got scores on the board, it could have potentially been a long day for us. But we dug in there, stuck to our systems and fought our way back into the game, and to be going into half-time leading the match was very impressive.

“We’ve got massive respect for Gloucester, they are a really good side and have been building over the last few years. They are very well coached, they’ve got some really strong forwards and some very skilful and fast backs to back them up."

Ian Madigan

“I got to experience one of the derbies against Bath, and it was incredible to fill Ashton Gate with our supporters and a lot of the Bath supporters who travelled up as well.

“So, I’m sure we’ll have a good travelling support from Bristol and in fairness to Gloucester, there’s fantastic supporters at Kingsholm. The Shed I’m sure will be chanting away on Friday night.”

Madigan says Bristol Bears are under no illusions as the challenge they face on Friday night, but has backed his side to rise to the occasion in front of the BT Sport cameras.

“We’ve got massive respect for Gloucester, they are a really good side and have been building over the last few years. They are very well coached, they’ve got some really strong forwards and some very skilful and fast backs to back them up.

“I think for us this week, we’re going to be challenged a lot with our defence. They’ve got some strong runners, they play flat to the line and they’ve got the ability to get the ball out of those shapes and get it into the wide channels, so we’ve got to be really ready for that.”