Pat Lam refusing to look at the table after ‘huge win’ for Bristol Bears

Adam Kyriacou
Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam after win over Sale Sharks.

Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam after win over Sale Sharks.

Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam was delighted to pick up a “huge win” on the road at Sale Sharks that keeps their slim Premiership play-off ambitions alive.

The Bears put in an impressive performance as they stunned Sale at fortress Salford Community Stadium, earning just their fifth win of the season in the league.

While it is still going to be a difficult ask for Bristol to sneak into the knockout stages, the result goes a long way in handing the team much-needed momentum.

Back to winning ways

“I’m really pleased for the boys because we were all annoyed after last week’s game,” said Lam, referencing their 24-14 home defeat to an in-form Exeter Chiefs.

“For some reason we couldn’t play our game then, and so during the week we’ve put a lot of hard work in.

“The contrast from last week to this is amazing – everybody did their jobs tonight and so I’m pleased for the boys. This is what good looks like.

“It’s a huge win for us because we know this is a difficult place to come to.

“We had to be on it because we knew how capable Sale are of shutting a game down once they get in front.”

He added: “We’ve got two big games back at Ashton Gate now. We owe one to our fans there after last week.

“I’m not looking at the table, though. That’s not going to help us at this stage of the season.

“It’s a tough competition. Good luck to anyone who thinks they can pick who’ll go and win it.”

For Sale this was a disappointing night at the office as they struggled to fire a shot in an error-ridden performance that saw them miss the chance to move top.

Rare home loss for Sale

The Sharks could now even drop to as low as sixth if Bath and Saracens pick up wins this weekend, with boss Alex Sanderson far from happy with their showing.

“I’m not bothered at all about the home record going, I’m just after more consistent performances from the lads, week in, week out,” he said after Sale’s first home defeat in the Premiership in 14 months.

“We’re just not getting that at the moment, it’s really disappointing.

“We had the opportunities, particularly in the first half, but we made too many inconsistent calls and there was too much sloppy indiscipline out there.

“Fair play to Bristol, they converted half as many opportunities as we did, and that’s frustrating for me.

“The players will take ownership of this result, though, I’m just so disappointed we didn’t get over the line.

“We need to be yards better if we are going to win this thing, that’s clear to see.”

READ MORE: Premiership predictions: Nick Easter makes tight Leicester v Saracens and Exeter v Northampton calls