Lam tells Bristol to ditch the Leicester Christmas buffet
Bristol boss Pat Lam has told his players to stop choosing from the tactical “buffet” and to deliver a set menu of moves to try and inflict a first defeat of the season on Leicester when the teams clash on Boxing Day.
Lam believes Leicester kick the ball more than any team in World rugby and last season’s fixture featured a touchline argument at Welford Road over the substitution of prop John Afoa between the Bristol boss and opposite number Steve Borthwick which the pair have since ironed out.
However, the decision of Leicester captain Ellie Genge to leave at the end of the season to rejoin Bristol has raised temperature around the game again and while Lam has apologised to Tigers fans upset at a video showing Genge arriving at the Bears’ training ground the day his signed, he insists the England prop will be delivering a typically aggressive performance against the club he will join next season.
Bristol, languishing in 12th place in the Premiership, believe that to knock over the league leaders they have to match the opposition’s physical approach while also changing their own game plan to recognise they are not operating with the fluidity that took them to the top for much of last season.
Lam said: “We looked at our game and have grown it adding lots of layers and probably realised that we need to strip it back and get back to basics done really well. We have created a buffet and the problem was that there were a lot of choices about what you could do and so we laid out a set menu for the Champions Cup and going forward. We are not happy where we are at and a set menu, keeping things simple with everyone on the same page has been good.
“We were excited to play the Scarlets and that got called off a the last minute and then we had all the preparation in place for Stade Francais and I feel for the players with the games being called off and now we face a massive challenge with Leicester top of the table. This what we want to be involved in.”
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