Bristol Bears flanker Jake Heenan is targeting a home quarter-final in the EPCR Challenge Cup, after the Gallagher Premiership club climbed into third place in Pool A following their second successive victory in this season’s competition.

The 2020 champions followed their 19-5 win at USAP in Round 1, their first competitive victory since October 19, with a 35-19 home drubbing of Zebre Parma to lie only a point off the Pool leaders.

“Make no mistake, we want a home quarter-final, home semi in Europe, and we need to start getting results in the Prem, but, as a squad, we’ve come a long way in the last month or so and it’s just continuing to build that momentum,” said Heenan.

The New Zealander revealed that Bristol’s victory against the Italian club was a reward for keeping to their game plan.

“We knew it would be those little simple things that would give us the result,” he added. “The boys fronted against a tough team. They certainly came to play football and they did it very well. They put us under pressure at times, but for the most part we held our nerve and stuck to the plan, and we came away with the result.

“We talked about applying pressure. In the first half we were able to control territory, get out of our half and stay down there, so if they wanted to play, we were on top of them.

“I think you saw a try from Bats [Joe Batley] – one of the least convincing I’ve seen in my life – and Ports [Will Porter] jumped on one too. They looked like they came out of nowhere, but they came from exiting, applying pressure and forcing them into mistakes.”