Connacht players dejected after Saturday's defeat. James Crombie/INPHO
End of the road

Pat Lam predicts a bright future for Connacht as his four-year tenure comes to an end

The Kiwi coach took charge of his final game of the province yesterday.

PAT LAM BELIEVES that Connacht will thrive under new coach Kieran Keane — but only if they show the sort of heart which almost secured a shock Champions Cup qualifier win in Northampton.

Lam’s side came agonisingly close to pulling off a massive shock and setting up a Champions Cup play-off final at the Sportsground next Friday night.

But in the end they were unable to close the deal in a hectic finish which saw them laid siege to the home line, and the curtain came down on Lam’s four-year term at the Sportsground.

It was the sort of gutsy performance which has typified what Lam has achieved at the Sportsground — and a million miles away from the recent abject displays against Scarlets and Munster.

And Lam has predicted a bright future for Connacht if they can continue to produce the type of heart they showed at Franklin’s Gardens.

“I said it to the boys there that Kieran (Keane) will come in now and it’s their responsibility next season and I’m sure they will do a good job but only if they front up every week and not drop to the standard ever again that we saw in the last two matches,” said Lam.

He was left lamenting basic mistakes which robbed them of the chance of a big payday next Friday night and his successor Keane will now start his reign in the Challenge Cup.

“Unfortunately little errors cost us but we are proud of the effort,” added Lam.

“We wanted the game at a faster tempo. We had chances to win it but this has been the story of the season, we just didn’t take the run-ins,” added Lam, who will now take charge of Bristol next season.

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