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We're relishing top-of-the-table clash - Lam

  • 'Everybody looks forward to games like these.'
  • 'Ealing are top of the table and full of confidence - we're in for a big challenge.'
  • 'Emphasis is on getting things right defensively.'
  • 'We are striving for the perfect game and it’s up to the players to deliver that.'

Pat Lam says Bristol Rugby are relishing Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Ashton Gate, but has called on his side to right the defensive wrongs from last week’s victory at Bedford.

The head coach, who praised Ealing for a ‘ruthless display’ at London Scottish last weekend, says his side are well aware of the challenge facing them when the current league leaders visit BS3.

“Everybody looks forward to games like these,” said Lam. “Ealing are top of the table and off the back of a great win last weekend. They were ruthless against London Scottish, they are well coached and we know we’re in for a big challenge.

“That’s why the emphasis is on getting things right defensively – it’s crucial for us. The main focus is the five points - every game, irrespective of the opponent, the goal is to get maximum points.”

“Ealing are top of the table and off the back of a great win last weekend. They were ruthless against London Scottish, they are well coached and we know we’re in for a big challenge."

Head coach, Pat Lam

After conceding six tries Goldington Road last Saturday, Lam admits defence has been ‘a big focus’ this week – but the head coach says he is confident in his player’s ability to ‘fix the issues’.  

“There were good points from last weekend and there were clear work-ons, it’s obvious we can be better in defence - that’s been a big focus for us this week,” he said.

“The positive thing is that when you have a system, it’s easy to see where the issues are and how we go about fixing those issues.

“A team that scores nine and concedes six; that’s not the sort of team we want to be. We are nowhere near our best, but we are winning and we are building towards being the team that we want to be – the progress is showing.

“Attack is easier, because everybody wants to play with the ball. The harder work is required on defence and it’s around work ethic and attitude. It’s not about stars and individuals; it’s about the team and looking at how these guys fit into our system. We have absolute clarity on who is responsible and the players understand their roles.

“Rugby at the highest level is about the mental aspect – the constant learning and the ability to stick to your job and execute it time and time again.

“Like every team, we are striving for the perfect game and it’s up to the players to deliver that. It’s all about accountability and ensuring that we, as a coaching team, create the best possible environment for Bristol Rugby players to be successful.”

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