Grenoble head Bernard Jackman was full of praise for Irish side Connacht after his side advanced to the Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Connacht's young guns served up a thrilling effort at the Stade des Alpes but were beaten by a late drop goal from Jonathan Wisniewski, despite outscoring their hosts four tries to three, including two for Niyi Adeolokun.
Jackman pinpointed the extra experience of the likes of Wisniewski as a huge factor for Grenoble edging a see-sawing contest, and that the experience of coming out on top in a closely contested European knockout game would be invaluable.
However the former Connacht and Ireland hooker admitted that he felt for Connacht after a tough exit.
“Tonight, they showed France and the rest of Europe what we saw when we analysed them. They’re a team who have made a massive amount of progress, a young side," Jackman told The42.ie
I think they’re a team who are growing and a team who believe in what they’re trying to achieve. I’m very happy for us tonight, but I feel that if Connacht had won the game, there’d be absolutely no regrets on my part.
“Connacht did so much, but just at the end probably our experience told and we were able to manage those last couple of minutes a little bit better.
“That’s normal. We have guys like Jonathan Wisniewski, Charl McLeod, who have been around a long time. Also we had the home support, who were incredible. It’s very difficult to come to France and win and Connacht did everything but.
“For us, it’s a huge win because we’re trying to grow the club and create a culture. Even though we made a lot of mistakes and were put under pressure by the good play of Connacht, I felt that it was important for us to win a tight game in cup rugby, which we haven’t played a lot of.
“It’s mixed emotions, but from our point of view, we’re happy. I just really feel for Connacht."