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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

'It was my first meat pie for Connacht' - Bealham flourishing up front for Lam's men

The Irish international prop was one of a number of standout players from last night’s win over Munster.

Bealham's performance was capped off with a try.
Bealham's performance was capped off with a try.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IT WAS A memorable evening in more ways than one in Galway but for Finlay Bealham, there was an added personal landmark as he scored his first ‘meat pie’ for Connacht.

Pat Lam’s side completed their first-ever season’s double over Munster with a scintillating, and at times breathtaking, victory at the Sportsground.

The western province are now on the cusp of a Pro12 home semi-final as they regained second spot in the table, level on points with leaders Leinster.

Connacht underlined their title credentials with an imperious display as they ran in four tries to inflict more woe on Anthony Foley’s beleaguered side, with Bealham securing the bonus point with his first try for the club.

“That is my first ‘meat pie’ for Connacht but the thing is after Ultan Dillane storming around there it was more of a team try and all I had to do was fall over,” the prop said afterwards.

“It was a good win and credit to the boys we just structured our systems and it didn’t take too much. We just stuck to what we knew and what we trained every day, so thankfully we came out with the bonus point win.

Fionn Carr, JP Cooney and Finlay Bealham celebrate at the final whistle Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

“I think it was just composure was the biggest thing because sometimes, you know, you have to chase the game and you can get out of your structures a bit but we just stuck to what we had been doing in training and we got the result and happy out now.”

Connacht were up against it early on as the visitors came out of the blocks quickly, scoring tries through Simon Zebo and Mike Sherry to open up a 14-6 lead.

But the westerners have showed admirable resolve all campaign and they mustered a fightback before half-time with Munster reduced to 14 men after James Cronin was sent to the bin.

Lam’s charges were ruthlessly clinical as they recorded 29 unanswered points to romp to victory in front of a delirious crowd at the Sportsground.

“The lads work really hard for each other,” Bealham continued. “We can find ourselves in a few bad situations in defence but the lads’ work ethic and willingness to cover that saves us on a couple of occasions but everyone works hard for each other that is the main thing.

“I think the big thing now is just to enjoy this win and come back next week and then focus on Treviso. They have a big forward pack and we will have our work cut out over there. Obviously enjoy the win tonight and get up for Treviso next week.

Speaking of the atmosphere in the dressing room afterwards, Bealham added:

“It was calm enough afterwards. Lads are obviously very happy, coaches are very happy we have put a lot of work in for this game.

“That tough loss we had last week and the tough start we had this week it could be quite easy to lose our composure but like we all stuck together and believed in what we trained and we got some nice team tries.”

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‘Every day I’m pinching myself’ – Van der Flier shining for Leinster

‘We obviously lost our way’ – Foley frustrated by Cronin yellow card

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Ryan Bailey

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