Sunday 25 September 2016

'Disappointed' Pat Lam laments errors following successive heavy defeats for Connacht

Published 11/09/2016 | 09:17

Pat Lam Photo: Sed Daly/Sportsfile
Pat Lam Photo: Sed Daly/Sportsfile

Connacht coach Pat Lam praised his side’s attitude but a second heavy defeat in a week has left last season’s champions bottom of the table.

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“I’m disappointed but the main thing is we improved on last week, we’re not happy with the outcome but the attitude was better. The score blew out at the end which wasn’t a reflection of the game.

“At 11-10, we were controlling the game nicely with a good balance territory and possession but then we gave the ball away and had to defend. They’re a good side and they grind you down.

“We had a few mauls where we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, at 10-6 down when they had a man in the bin, we knocked the ball on. Good sides will punish you.

“Once they got to 18-11, we didn’t defend a lineout. Then you’re chasing the draw, a couple of errors that led to two breaks. The score doesn’t reflect the total game but there are things to work on obviously.

“There are a lot of guys getting opportunities through injury and we need to get the relationships going, they were set at the end of last season and we didn’t get enough time in pre-season.

“These are the challenges which determine whether you will grow. There is a long way to go but it is an improvement and Zebre will be a good game for us to move on to next week.

“It’s not a must-win, there are points on offer. We know we’re in for a battle because they performed strongly against Dragons. So we know we need to improve even more.”

Ospreys scrum-half, Rhys Webb, man of the match after scoring two of his side’s bonus-point tries, paid tribute to his forward pack as the Welsh side made it two five-pointers on the trot to join Glasgow Warriors atop the nascent Pro12 table, with reigning champions Connacht bottom and pointless.

“The pack laid the platform for us tonight and the key for us was to play smart, we knew it was going to be tough over here and the wind was very difficult to play in.

“We have worked very hard on our skills in the pre-season and it was about putting those into practise tonight. Thankfully, the set-piece worked really well for us tonight, the forwards did really well and the backs were able to finish off a few moves.

Ospreys coach Steve Tandy was thrilled with the bonus point victory.

“It’s huge for this squad to get a bonus point against the champions and not many teams will come here and do that.

We’ve had a good start, we have fit players and the depth of our squad is getting better when you consider we didn’t have Dan Lydiate, Alan Wyn Jones or Dan Biggar.

“Our defence at the end of the first-half was crucial and for large parts we were in control and our late tries came from that defence.”

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