Friday 22 September 2017

No special treatment for Heaslip over tackle -- Lam

Pat Lam
Pat Lam

Connacht coach Pat Lam does not believe Jamie Heaslip received special treatment during their Pro12 clash at the Sportsground -- but he is adamant the Irish international should have been binned at a crucial stage.

Lam was critical of referee George Clancy's decision not to yellow-card Heaslip for a late charge on Dan Parks during Leinster's 16-8 win on Saturday.

The Connacht coach has viewed the match several times since the game and remains angry that a yellow card was not issued.

But Lam said yesterday he did not believe that Heaslip got special treatment. "You are hoping that is not the case and that there is no favouritism to players," he said.

"It was definitely not a tackle -- it was late and there was a shoulder involved and only a shoulder. The TMO said it was late and he led with the shoulder. There were no arms involved.

"It was not a 50-50 decision, it was 90-10. (Captain) Craig Clarke has found it extremely frustrating coming over from New Zealand to find the conversations with him and the conversations with other teams such as Munster and Leinster are different -- that has been frustrating for us as a group," he said.

Meanwhile, Lam has received triple injury boost as he bids to notch his side's third Heineken Cup win of the campaign when they host Zebre on Saturday.

Former New Zealand U-20 captain Jake Heenan, Craig Ronaldson and Gavin Duffy all return, giving Lam plenty of options as the Westerners bid to repeat their 33-6 Heineken Cup win over Zebre in October in Italy.

IRELAND OFF BEATEN TRACK IN ARGENTINA

IRELAND look set for a trip off the beaten track this summer as the venues for their two Tests in Argentina were revealed by the local union's president Luis Castillo, WRITES Ruaidhri O'Connor.

The IRFU had been expecting at least one of their two Tests against the Pumas to be fixed for Buenos Aires, but Argentina look set to play their six home internationals in 2014 at different stadiums.

It means Joe Schmidt's side look set to play their first Test more than 1,000km north of the capital in the city of Resistencia in the Chaco province, before heading west for their second meeting with their old rivals in Tucuman city.

Meanwhile, Garryowen's Tom Tierney will take charge of the Ireland Club XV for their two matches during the Six Nations.

The former Ireland scrum-half will be assisted by ex-Munster and Cork Con second-row Mick O'Driscoll.

O'Driscoll will be on familiar ground for the first clash as they host Scotland at Cork's Temple Hill on February 7 before facing England Counties at Mowden Park in Darlington two weeks later.

Irish Independent

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