Opposition view: Lam salutes Bears for sending Saints home without a point

Pat Lam was delighted with the way Bristol Bears shut down Saints' hopes of claiming anything from Friday night's clash at Ashton Gate.
Pat Lam (photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)Pat Lam (photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
Pat Lam (photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

The Bears delivered a huge 52-21 win on their return to Gallagher Premiership action, scoring seven tries in the process.

But Saints could only score three, meaning they headed home without anything to show for their efforts.

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The black, green and gold had hoped to at least pick up a try bonus point late on, but Bristol refused to let them gain any momentum.

And Lam said: “I’m glad the boys got the reward for all the work they’ve put in and getting the five points was really important, but just as important was not giving them the point which is really pleasing because we put some work into our defence.

“When the competition is so tight against a team that’s No.1, to keep them away from the bonus point is huge."

Bristol have reignited their hopes of a top-four finish after beating Sale Sharks, Bath and Saints in their past three Premiership matches.

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"After New Year we talked about getting back (to attacking rugby) and we obviously had a very good win at Sale, we carried on from what we did against Bath and at this period of time we fine-tuned that in all areas of our game," Lam said.

“Credit to the coaches, who have done superb work in all the areas, but the players in particular.

"It’s been a long period of time, and everyone’s done something different, but it has been a real opportunity to build on the things that we really wanted to and our only focus was this game because we knew the challenge - they’re the No.1 team with the quality that they have."