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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Thursday, March 4th 2021

We'll have to be at our best, insists Lam

Pat Lam knows the Bears will have to be at their best when they make the short trip to Sixways to face Worcester Warriors on Saturday evening (5.15pm KO, live on BT Sport Extra).

The Bears edged out Leicester Tigers at Ashton Gate in round 11, as they bounced back from an enthralling draw with London Irish to extend their lead at the top of the Gallagher Premiership to six points at the halfway stage of the season.

Director of Rugby Lam, who hailed his side’s defensive display against Tigers, is expecting a huge test at Sixways this weekend.

'We’ll have to be at our best'

“Worcester haven’t won since November and I know JT (Jonathan Thomas) and Iro (Mark Irish) are making big changes over there, and they are desperate for a win.

“They are good coaches and I know what they are trying to do, it just takes a bit of time, so there’s no doubt that a win would be big for their growth and that’s the challenge we face.

“It’s around our collective against theirs and it’s a mental game. We’ll have to be at our best, because they will test us.”

Tries from Will Capon and Piers O’Conor saw the Bears earn an eighth league win of the season, while also keeping a physical Tigers side out amid long periods of pressure – and Lam was pleased with the improvements shown.

'A gutsy win'

“It was a gutsy win, particularly defensively. The last 20 minutes against London Irish was a bit of an outlier, where we conceded three tries, but our defence has been really good and what we broke it down to at the end of that, was getting ourselves focused on the next job after we make mistakes, or that we started to think ahead, rather than staying in the moment that we are in.

“Against Tigers, that was a huge improvement. We know we had many opportunities where we didn’t score, but we created a lot, whereas the previous week, we got frustrated and not everyone was on the job in defence.

“This time, you look at the amount of defence and the period of time we spent camped inside our 22 against a Leicester team who have been playing well and who have a strong scrum and maul – it was a huge effort to keep them out and it will hold us in good stead.

“We were pleased with the four points, but like every player and coach, you want more, but that just shows there is room for improvement.”


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