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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 16 September, 2019
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Lam determined to build a legacy in Connacht

‘The boys know I cannot stand running straight into people. They know I expect some expression, I expect us to have options.’

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT SUPPORTERS MAY be hoping that this will be the first time in their 130-year history that they finally win a trophy, but for Pat Lam it runs much deeper than that.

He wants to build a legacy.

Pat Lam celebrates Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Connacht’s 7-6 win over Leinster keeps them top of the table and prime candidates now to reach their first Pro12 semi-final.

And with a European Challenge Cup quarter-final to come against Grenoble in two weeks, his men are going for glory on two fronts.

Yet Lam is determined to put a structure in place which will last, even after he has moved on.

“The beauty of this team is that it’s the jersey. You don’t own it. There’s a lot of people have gone before. It’s your responsibility to know the role of whatever jersey you put on.

The number on the jersey is to start phases and set pieces but after that, we’re into our structure.”

Lam lauded his men for the way they held out to fashion a dramatic win over Leinster, but he also paid tribute to those who did not make the matchday squad.

“I want to send a bit of a shout-out to the guys outside the 23. There’s a lot of disappointed boys and I knew there would be. Everyone wants to play but then they turned around and raised the whole training level.

“We had a superb training week last week and this week. After we named the team, those boys made sure we raised the standard.”

Lam said he showed footage of Kieran Marmion’s try in the dressing room at the interval as it emphasised the value of teamwork.

try

“I showed it at half time to them. We know it’s a tremendous defence but I honestly felt when I was watching some of the Pro12, that teams weren’t challenging their defence and they are really well organised.

The boys know I cannot stand running straight into people. They know I expect some expression, I expect us to have options.

“We need to ask questions of the defence and that’s what I said. Do not hold back. If it’s on, move the pass. The first time we attacked, it went from Aly Muldowney to Denis Buckley to Tom McCartney, out the back. It was just hands, hands, hands, hands.

“It’s tremendous and I’m really pleased, when you’ve got front rows and forwards that can pass, all of a sudden, you can put pressure on the team on defence. Kieran got the try, fantastic from him but a lot of effort went into that try.”

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John Fallon

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