Lam: ‘It’s now all in our control’

Date published: January 14 2017

Connacht boss Pat Lam was unsurprisingly pleased to see his team take away the maximum five points from their home game against Zebre.

The result now means Connacht top Pool 2 going into the final round ahead of a tough trip to Toulouse, which they will need to win in order to top the group with Wasps facing Zebre.

“We have worked hard to get into this situation,” Lam said.

“It’s now all in our control. If we want to get the win in Toulouse (next Sunday), it’s up to us, so we need to have a good week this week.”

Connacht’s performance was not perfect, at one point being down 14-7 after the Italians scored two quick tries, and Lam admitted he was not happy with his players at the interval.

Calling on the players to raise their game next weekend, Lam also revealed that injury issues have hampered Connacht’s preparations in recent weeks except for over the last few days. John Cooney, a scrum-half by trade, made his first start at fly-half in Galway with other options unavailable.

“The positive is that our goal was to have the five points from this match, and we got that,” Lam said.

“We had a goal not to let them cross our line, and we failed to achieve that, and I wasn’t happy at half-time – the way they got possession in the first place and the way we defended.

“It was a reminder of what has happened in the last few games, little moments that have killed us, so we still have a lot of work to do.

“Toulouse will punish us badly if we don’t get it right next weekend, so it is important to have a good week’s training now.

“Our confidence always comes from the training we do and (following the recent injuries) last week was the first time in five weeks the starting XV has completed all the training sessions, and that brought confidence.”