Crane: It’s time we put in 80 min­utes

The Rugby Paper - - Greene King IPA Championship - ■ By NICK VERDIER

JOR­DAN Crane has re­vealed how his ex­pe­ri­ence at Le­ices­ter is prov­ing handy in more ways than one as Bris­tol pre­pare to host Rich­mond to­day.

The West Coun­try side were tipped to re­turn straight to the Premier­ship be­fore the sea­son started but with it comes the bur­den of be­ing the team ev­ery­one wants to beat.

Crane brings a huge amount of top level ex­pe­ri­ence to the Bris­tol pack with his 14 sea­sons in pro­fes­sional rugby and more than 150 games for Le­ices­ter be­fore the move to Ash­ton Gate last sea­son.

“It’s no se­cret we want to be back in the Premier­ship but that also puts a big tar­gets on our backs,” he told

The Rugby Pa­per. “Ev­ery­one wants to beat Bris­tol and they raise their game against us.

“We saw it in the first two games where we were made to work hard to beat both Hart­pury and the Pi­rates.

“That was the same when I was at Le­ices­ter where ev­ery­one wanted to beat us es­pe­cially when the Tigers were suc­cess­ful. That means you have to be con­sis­tent with your per­for­mances be­cause you’re there to be shot at.

“There’s a lot of ex­pec­ta­tions on us but we’re tak­ing it week by week and re­spect ev­ery team we play. It’ll be the same against Rich­mond to­day.

“We’re two from two but we haven’t put in the per­for­mance we’d have liked. We’ve been good in patches against Hart­pury and Pi­rates but we drifted in and out of those two games. Hope­fully we can fi­nally get that 80 min­utes per­for­mance against Rich­mond.”

Crane will cap­tain Bris­tol from No.8 in one of 11 changes made by Pat Lam from the 31-29 win in Pen­zance last Sun­day.

New ar­rivals Ala­p­ati Leiua and Joe Bat­ley are set for their com­pet­i­tive de­buts and so are full-back Mat Protheroe and prop Nicky Thomas.

Rich­mond di­rec­tor of rugby Steve Hill has made four changes to his side as they look to build on a cred­i­ble los­ing bonus-point against Eail­ing Trail­find­ers last week­end.

Joe Tar­rant replaces Craig Tre­nier while Chris Davies shifts from the se­cond-row to his favoured No.8 po­si­tion which means that Alex Hum­frey joins cap­tain Will War­den in the en­gine room at Ash­ton Gate.

The fi­nal change comes at scrum-half where Jamie Gibbs replaces Luc Jones to part­ner Fred­die Gab­bitass in the half-backs.

“To play Bris­tol in front of their home crowd will be a huge chal­lenge, but it is ex­actly the type of game our play­ers want to test them­selves in,” said Hill.

“Bris­tol have not fired on all cylin­ders yet this sea­son so their play­ers will be un­der huge pres­sure to per­form. Our play­ers must en­sure we add to that pres­sure."

“We know we are un­der­dogs, but it was the same last sea­son when we played Lon­don Ir­ish and York­shire Carnegie; both games in which we came within a score of win­ning.”

Tar­get: Jor­dan Crane

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