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HomeRugbyJohann Van Graan hails ‘two world-class quantity 13s’ as Bathtub edge Bristol

Johann Van Graan hails ‘two world-class quantity 13s’ as Bathtub edge Bristol

Bathtub head of rugby Johann Van Graan admitted he breathed a sigh of aid at his facet’s slender 20-19 Gallagher Premiership victory over neighbours Bristol however was simply as fast to reward “two world-class quantity 13s”.

Bathtub’s England centre Ollie Lawrence took the participant of the match award for a hungry, virtuoso show however Fijian-born Virimi Vakatawa was simply as spectacular within the Bristol again line in entrance of a capability crowd on the Recreation Floor.

Requested about Lawrence’s kind since coming back from the World Cup, Van Graan stated: “I believed he was wonderful.

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“We had a good set-piece base to attack from in the first half. Obviously, we did our homework on them and they did the same to us so both teams found momentum.

“We put Ollie through a few holes and the try straight from the kick-off was a brilliant team effort.”

Van Graan added: “I coached against Vakatawa when I was with South Africa and he with France. Every time I see his name on the opposition team sheet I think: what a quality player!

“It was a real positive for the Premiership tonight, if you look at the quality on both sides and two number 13s.

“We’re not speaking about decisions or 50-50s, we’re talking about two world-class number 13s that had a real go at each other. Both were brilliant tonight.”

On his performance, Van Graan added: “We spoke this week about mastering the basics and in the last three minutes we were really clinical.

“We had to defend the maul, defend the scrum, win our own ball on the scrum. We had to win a line-out, execute the kick and keep our discipline, because one penalty gives it away so it was a real sign of growth to us.

“Last season we lost seven games by one score. We were on the wrong end of it here against Leicester recently with a last-minute decision so I’ll take it as a real sign of growth for us as a group.”

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam said: “We started really well, scored and then gave possession away.

“They came at us and had a real purple patch from our own errors and missed tackles and at 17-7 they were on fire. We just had to stop their momentum.

“We then had some clear chances to score points before half-time and we blew those. We spoke about it and said we needed to score next. We had a few chances and finally got over and scored again. It could have gone any way at the end there.”

Lam added: “What I am proud about is that the boys kept fighting and hanging in there. If we do that, it will come.

“We lost by just one point and you have to ask yourself: did the game plan give us opportunities? We just didn’t take those points.

“You can look at the (refereeing) calls – and Callum (Sheedy) has failed his HIA – but I ask myself: did we have

opportunities to win? Yes we did. All of the last four games, we could have easily won them if we had taken our chances, so we keep working at that.

“There were a lot of positive performances from guys which will stand us in good stead. I know there is doom and gloom outside (the club) about results but we know that they could easily be the other way round. It’s fine margins.

“What I’m loving is that every game the boys are fighting and showing lots of effort.

“We’ve got Sarries (Saracens) next week so we’re straight back in. It helps focus us.”



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