Planet Rugby

Lam unfazed by controversial calls

05th January 2014 15:01

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Resigned: Pat Lam

Connacht boss Pat Lam conceded that two big decisions in the loss to Leinster were both out of his hands, despite being frustrated.

The home crowd at the Sportsground were left incensed when first Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip wasn't penalised for a late hit on Connacht fly-half Dan Parks.

Then a controversial pass provided the winning try for Leinster through Gordon D'Arcy, despite a review from the TMO.

Commenting on the Heaslip hit, Lam hinted that if he had been playing for Samoa then the Leinster player would have never gotten away with it, whilst also believing the pass for D'Arcy's try was forward.

"Well I tell you, I played for Samoa. We touch anyone around that area and we get blasted, absolutely blasted," Lam told The Score.

"I don't know, it's pretty obvious. Everyone saw it. What determines a tackle, a shoulder charge, what's late?

"The officials will sort it out. But I don't think I need to comment on it, because the crowd saw it, you guys saw it. It was a surprising decision. Obviously, the [winning try] to go ahead with a knock-on [was disappointing], with the call saying it went backwards.

"I didn't see any ball go backwards. Yeah, it's frustrating but like I said, they're things we can't control. We're Connacht and we just deal with that. What we're really disappointed with is the little errors we're making."

Reflecting on Connacht's season as a whole so far in his first year in charge, Lam used the example of Connacht's shock win over Toulouse to underline his team were built around unity, not star names.

"The bottom line is - and I've been saying it all year - we know we don't have 13 or 16 internationals in our squad. However, if we play as a team, we've got some opportunity," added Lam.

"We talked about that second half - 'this game is there for the taking if we want it'. Obviously it's difficult on some of the calls.

"But our focus, for us, is what we can control. Despite those calls, we lost shape and, particularly in attack, we didn't look after the ball."

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