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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Sunday, October 18th 2020

'We were calm and controlled' - Earl

Man of the match, Ben Earl praised his side for bouncing back from last weekend’s Premiership play-off heartbreak at Wasps to win a maiden European Challenge Cup against Toulon on Friday night.

The England international, who switched from openside to number eight in the absence of the injured Nathan Hughes, was a huge factor in a relentless Bears performance at Stade Maurice-David.

And Earl hailed the Bears’ ‘calmness and control’ on an emotional night in Aix-en-Provence.

'We were calm and controlled'

“It’s unbelievable. One of the first trophies that this club has won in, I don’t know how long, and we spoke about the importance of the community before the game – and how good were we out there? So calm, so controlled, even when we were behind, and we trusted the system and I’m just so proud of the boys.

“I think (the defensive effort) just shows the character of the team. We’ve had a tough journey together since lockdown – we’ve had some big highs and some huge lows, like last weekend (against Wasps). No lying, the mood in the camp come Monday after the Wasps result was very low. It took a lot to bounce back and I’m just so happy for the club, for the community and for the boys.

“There was a just a knowledge and confidence in each other that we were going to get the job done. Toulon are a class outfit, but there was just a feeling in that group, and you could tell it from the beginning of the day. We built things up emotionally all week and we’re all so happy.”

'One of the best environments'

Earl also lavished praise on Director of Rugby, Pat Lam for the creating ‘one of the best environments’ he has played in.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him (Pat Lam). He’s challenged me and he’s challenged the boys coming in and already here to keep getting better.

“The system and culture he’s put in place at the club – you won’t experience it until you come in and experience it and see how close the boys are to each other. I can safely say it’s one of the best environments I’ve been involved in.”


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