Pat Lam expects tough challenge from Connacht

David Skippers

Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam Pat Lam said his team must be ‘mentally and physically prepared’ when they face Connacht in the Champions Cup on Sunday.

Lam, whose side were beaten by Clermont in Round One of the competition, feels lessons have been learned from last weekend’s defeat, ahead of a ‘tough trip’ to Galway.

“There have been some very good learnings. I’ve always said that it doesn’t matter what type of game we play – whether it’s Champions Cup, Challenge Cup, Premiership, or cup game, or a friendly – it’s just another game about us being able to do our job,” he said.

“It’s fair to say we did them at times (against Clermont) and we showed some really good things, but there are other times that we didn’t quite get it right and that’s why we’ve become the team that we have, by learning from that, growing and moving on, and now we move to another game.

“The beauty of this competition and any finals rugby is that everyone wants the outcome, but it completely comes back to the process and the game plan, and the work we do as a team to get that right.

Quietly confident

“If we get all of that right, I’m confident we’ll get the W – if we don’t, as we saw on the weekend, if we’re inconsistent with getting those roles right, you end up with what happened last week.

“There’s no doubt the boys will train hard this week, we’ll get things correct, and we’ve got to, because it’s a great Connacht team. But if we get that right, we’ve got a great chance.

“We’re expecting wind and rain, and it’s a special place – but from the players, we’re going to get unbelievable commitment from the Connacht boys, they will throw their bodies on the line and they’ll come hard at us.

“We’ve got to make sure that we’re mentally and physically prepared to not only play our game, but make sure that our physicality levels are right and that we can not only take what they do, but also ensure that we’re ready to be as strong as we can.

“So, it’s great for the development of this team to face these sorts of challenges and hopefully come out the other end with the win.”