Bristol Bears are the only team in the European Rugby Challenge Cup to have clinched a home quarter-final so far, but director of rugby Pat Lam has warned that his side will not be easing off in their Round 6 fixture at Zebre Rugby Club on Saturday.
He is keen for the Pool 4 winners to be one of the top two seeds and so open up the possibility of a home semi-final should they get that far.
“All in all, I’m pleased, but that’s now part five,” the New Zealander told the Bristol website. “We’ve got to get to Zebre and secure the top two seeds.”
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) January 11, 2020
Lam wants to see an improvement in ball retention against the Italian club, even though Bristol scored seven tries in routing Brive 52-3 at Ashton Gate in Round 5.
“First half, there was some good stuff, but we turned over the ball,” he pointed out. “I think we had six turnovers after 15 minutes and 15 after 30 minutes, so we spoke about that at half-time.
“There were people treating the ball like a hot potato, whereas people like Dave Attwood and Luke Hamilton were treating it with respect and getting us good go-forward, and that allowed us to put some pressure on.
“It’s a good example of coming in and doing your job. When you play the game, you’ve got to earn the right to move the ball and their decision-making to carry hard and still look for the offload was great. They were physical, they were direct and they both played really well.”