independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Lam joy as Connacht pull off upset

Pat Lam's side beat Toulouse in the Heineken Cup

Connacht coach Pat Lam was delighted at the way his side held their nerve to pull off one of the biggest wins in the history of the Irish province and put them back in the hunt for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place.

A 16-14 over triumph over Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon took them to within one point of the top in Pool 3 - held by Toulouse and Saracens - who have 10 points, with three games, two of them at home, to play.

"We had a lot of belief coming to this game. Although we are at the bottom of the table this year, every single game we played we could have won," said Lam.

"We have a team with no superstars, we missed so many opportunities throughout the season, but we still came here confident. We just had to make sure that everyone did their job.

"There was a lot of trust out there - I'm very proud of that tonight. Last week against Edinburgh we should have won comfortably, but they scored three tries in the last five minutes.

"At the time it hurt, but it might be the best thing that could have happened to us. We had a look at our shape and it was badly wrong, we spent a lot of time at the start of the week getting back to our defensive shape.

"When we had that today we were able to put pressure on Toulouse. We're very happy that the boys were able to do that, because then we could play as a team.

"At half-time, we mainly talked about ourselves, about playing our game. I said 'they're giving us opportunities, we just need to recognise them'. The homework we did on them paid off - every time we attacked, we had opportunities.

"The try they scored before half-time happened because someone left the gate open, it was just a bad call, a system error. We're alive, and now we have to go and do the same in our own backyard.

"This will be a big effort, because we'll face a hurting Toulouse team. They're going to be written off and told how bad they are. They'll come to us fired up."

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