Pat Lam: Bristol Bears boss promises fans brighter future after huge loss

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam blamed execution issues for his side’s poor performance in a video interview for the Bears shortly after their 42-19 loss to Sale.

The away defeat saw his team get shutout by the hosts in the first half of play before scoring three consolation tries in the second half with two coming from departing number eight Nathan Hughes.

Lam‘s side have struggled this year despite coming off the back of a first-place finish in the 2020/21 campaign which was ended sooner than expected by a shock comeback-defeat to Harlequins in the playoffs.

Following Saturday’s painful loss to Sale, the Bristol boss has promised fans “we’ll come back stronger” next season.

Nothing new for Bristol

“That first half probably summed up our season,” admitted Lam in a separate interview for PRTV following the defeat.

“It was 28-0 and from our first nine lineouts, either we turned them over at the lineout or the maul. I said to the boys that I’ve never coached a team that loses nine lineouts, we spoke about it at half time.

“Fair play, we said ‘Let’s go enjoy our rugby, let’s get out there’ because in the first half we blew two really good long-range tries and we showed there was opportunity but we had no possession because we were turning the ball over.

“Fair play to the boys, we won that second half 19-14 but we coughed over two easy tries and we were chasing the game all the time, but these boys never give in.”

However, unfortunately for Bristol winning the second half meant nothing to the outcome because the team still left Sale with zero points to show for their efforts, largely because of the dire first half of play.

With the result meaning Bristol finish in 10th place in the Premiership, Lam will be hoping for a more positive season when the 2022/23 campaign rolls around and is looking forward to starting the preparations in a month’s time.

“I think it’s time for a good break but we’re pretty excited to get back on July 4 and there is a lot of work we’ve got to do on our fundamentals in particular,” he added.

“That’s what we’re going to be working on, all our set-pieces. We look at our breakdown work, our passing, our basic skills. We’ve got to put a lot of emphasis on the small things because that’s what makes the difference.”

READ MORE: Premiership: Northampton’s annihilation of Newcastle seals playoff spot

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