Crane: It’s time we put in 80 minutes
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