London Scottish coach Buckland expects a Bristol backlash

Ready to face fire: James Buckland expects a back lash from Bristol this weekend

Ready to face fire: James Buckland expects a back lash from Bristol this weekend

First published in London Scottish

London Scottish forwards and defence coach James Buckland expects to face a fired up Bristol tomorrow when the two sides meet at the Memorial stadium.

Both teams experienced contrasting fortunes last weekend with London Scottish ending game week one top of the Greene King IPA Championship following a 44-13 win over Ealing Trailfinders, while Bristol lost narrowly against Cornish Pirates.

Buckland feels Bristol will be smarting after that defeat and an altogether different proposition in front of their own fans in the West Country.

"They are a Premiership Club in waiting and have got a very talented and deep squad,” he said.

"It is going to be their first game at home following their loss against the Pirates so obviously they are going to be highly motivated to turn in a performance.

"The Bristol crowd is very passionate and very vocal and their boys will want to go out and put on a good show. Possibly the level of expectation at home for them is quite a big thing.”

He added: "Traditionally Bristol are a confrontational team, good in the scrum and line-outs and they have good control from their half backs. They also have got some dangerous players in the wide channels as well.

"I think the balance in their team is quite promising from their perspective. Sean Holly and Andy Robinson will be expecting a lot from that team this season.”

Whilst being delighted with the manner of last week's bonus point win over Trailfinders, Buckland feels Scottish can improve on that performance and expects most games to be closely fought battles this year.

The former Leicester man added: "It was the perfect start result wise but most certainly not the perfect performance. The boys knew that Ealing would come out and put a lot of pressure on us.

"Defensively we were quite good but controlling the ball we were not quite as good so that's been a focus this week. We need to make sure we are looking after the ball for the scrum half.

"It's going to be tight and tenacious at times this season. We finished towards the bottom half of the table last year yet turned in good performances against Newcastle, Bedford and Nottingham who all finished in the top four.”

Sutton Guardian:

On the replacement bench: Andy Reay will be on the sidelines at Bristol on Sunday

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