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Pat Lam offered his players two choices at halftime with defeat against Harlequins looming

Pat Lam

Pat Lam had two choices for his players in the face of potential defeat against Harlequins

Bristol Bears director of rugby Lam offered his players the choice to either fight back or head for the team bus during his halftime talk against Harlequins.

Pat Lam

Lam’s side put up a Jekyll-and-Hyde performance at the Twickenham scoop as they struggled in the first half before coming from behind to defeat Harlequins 27-19 in the Gallagher Premiership.

The second half saw a much-improved side as Bristol bagged a try bonus point with their captain Steven Luatua and scrum-half Harry Randall leading the charge.

The fightback was initiated after a stern talking-to from Lam at halftime.

“I just opened the door that went out to the bus and said ‘There are two doors you can choose’,” he explained.

Bristol Bears

“‘If you’re going to continue playing like that, not as the Bears but just play as individuals, then just step on to the bus.’

“‘But if you want to go back out there, go back out there and play as the Bears because we were woeful for the first 40 minutes.’

“The opportunities were definitely there, but we had to do it as a group, so we had to go back out there, flick the switch and change the mindset and the boys started to turn it on and play as one team.

Bristol bears

“These guys are a good side, but that was a good lesson to us and we still won the game, with five points, at a place where I haven’t won with Bristol.

“To get five points here is a massive effort.”

Harlequins got off to a rousing start in the first half with Marcus Smith scoring three penalties to open up a 9-0 lead. They thought they had scored through Wilco Louw but were denied by the TMO.

Bristol Bears

Bristol’s Dan Thomas then scored a try to bring his side back into the game before their second-half resurgence which saw tries from Luatua, Randall and Niyi Adeolokun.

“I thought in the first half we were very good as a team, all-round,” said Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard.

“I thought the defence was exceptional and we had a life and bounce about us that I expect and unfortunately we can point to that area before half-time, where we didn’t score when we elected not to go for the posts.


“I thought the question that was asked [to the TMO] was probably the wrong way around – I can’t see why they couldn’t have awarded the try.

“It was a big decision and there were a few decisions we didn’t quite get today, but obviously in the second half they controlled territory and possession.”


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