injury toll

Lam hails 'gutsy' Connacht but loses in-form Fox-Matamua to worrying injury

The back row was stretchered off in last night’s 21-17 win over Brive in Galway.

CONNACHT COACH PAT Lam hailed his ‘gutsy’ players following Saturday evening’s 21-17 Challenge Cup success over Brive at the Sportsground.

In a fast and furious second half Nepia Fox-Matamua, Eoin McKeon, and Andrew Browne were all forced off injured as Connacht held on to record victory.

Nepia Fox Matamua leaves the field injured Fox-Matamua was stretchered off with a worrying knee injury. James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

“I’m massively proud because that was such a gutsy effort from the whole squad with what we have been through,” Lam said following last week’s testing trip to RC Enisei in Russia.

Fox-Matamua, who has made a significant impact with Connacht this season, left the Galway venue on crutches with a suspected cruciate ligament problem.

Having eked out two valuable victories, Lam was encouraged by how Connacht reacted throughout a gruelling game with Brive.

At the start of the European campaign I said the next two weeks were all about building mental toughness to build resilience,” Lam reflected.  ”A lot of things have been thrown our way and the boys have handled it well.

“To lose Nepia Fox-Matamua and McKeon at the same time, and then Browney has his hand split.  We ended up with three front rowers in a reorganised pack.  It was such a gutsy effort so I’m really pleased.”

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