Pat Lam says Bristol remain “pretty relentless” in terms of chasing a top-six Gallagher Premiership finish and Champions Cup qualification this season.


But Lam’s team once again underlined their Premiership title play-off credentials by claiming a first league win at Bath since 2006.

Bristol’s 19-13 victory moved them third in the table, one point behind second-placed Sale Sharks.

And with play-off spots wide open this term, they continue to mix it amid the Premiership’s higher echelons.

“Top six was our goal right from the very beginning, and it hasn’t changed,” Bristol rugby director Lam said.

“Every year, the squad is getting better, the team is growing.

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“We want to play at the highest level – the Champions Cup – and we are pretty relentless in terms of that being our goal this season.

“The main thing is we are inside our target, but there is a long way to go.

“That was the result of a lot of work today. We had a clear game-plan because we were coming to the toughest conditions in the Premiership.

“We talked about not getting bored of playing the game we needed to play to win this game, and we selected the group accordingly. It was a very good win.”


Architect of the success was fly-half Callum Sheedy, who delivered a performance that once again confirmed his considerable ability.

Cardiff-born Sheedy is qualified to play for Wales; Ireland via his parents; and England on residency.

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar has suffered an injury ahead of next Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash against England at Twickenham.

And with Biggar’s fellow Wales number 10s Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Patchell and Owen Williams all out of the selection picture through injuries, 24-year-old Sheedy could conceivably prove an option.

“I am just trying to play my best rugby for Bristol. Whatever happens after that, happens,” he said.

“My main focus is playing well for Bristol, keep winning and keep climbing that table.

“I think it’s unfair to speak about me after a gritty win like that.

“We are constantly growing. The growth in the group is unbelievable, so it is really special and exciting to see where this group can go.

“It’s been 14 years since we won at The Rec, so it’s massive to get the win.”

Tries by flanker Chris Vui, wing Alapati Leiua and substitute scrum-half Harry Randall shaded a tight and tense west country derby in Bristol’s favour.

Sheedy kicked two conversions and, although Bath replacement Will Chudley touched down in the second period, it was a case of too little too late.

Rhys Priestland slotted two penalties and a conversion, yet it was Bristol’s day.

Bath suffered a first Premiership home defeat for a year, but Bristol’s fourth league win on the bounce kept them firmly in the play-off mix.

Bath rugby director Stuart Hooper said: “A defeat at home is tough, and to your local rivals is even tougher.

“Ultimately, we weren’t clinical when we had the opportunities to score, and we paid the price for that.

“This league is incredibly tight. It was a one-score game today, and the league is like that. You have got to convert, you have got to get those scores.”

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