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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 26 April, 2019
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'It's just a magnificent day for the west of Ireland' - Pat Lam

The Connacht head coach is already thinking about Leinster.

PAT LAM SAID Connacht’s win over Glasgow, which earned them a spot in the Guinness Pro12 final, was dedicated to the west of Ireland.

The western province’s 16-11 victory in the Sportsground means they will face Leo Cullen’s Leinster in the league decider at Murrayfield next Saturday.

Pat Lam speaks to his team after the game Lam speaks to his team after their win in Galway. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Speaking afterwards in Galway, Lam dedicated his side’s stunning achievement to the entire Connacht region.

“It’s extremely privileged and blessed to be part of this group and represent the west of Ireland,” said Lam. “It’s just a magnificent day for the west of Ireland. We have fantastic support here and we know there were so many people who wanted to be here at the game who couldn’t be.

“Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, right through; it’s just a wonderful day for the west of Ireland.

“It’s ironic. Before the game I said to the boys that this is our process of how we win the game and this is how we go about doing it. It means nothing, but we need to channel what this province means to you.

I highlighted all the local players. There was eight of them and I just said ‘channel it’. No fear, have a crack. It wasn’t perfect, we know that, but there was some good rugby as well as some frustrating things.

“It’s not only a great day for the west of Ireland but a great day for Ireland. We have an all-Ireland final next week and it’s going to be great. It’s a good day.”

Connacht now turn their attention towards that demanding test in the final against Leinster, who looked impressive in their own semi-final win against Ulster at the RDS last night.

Lam’s men will, however, have had their already-brimming confidence further boosted by having beaten last season’s champions Glasgow twice in a row.

“We’ve beaten Munster away, we’ve beaten Ospreys away,” said Lam. “As we achieve milestones, we just put it over here, then put the next one over there.

Enda Kenny with Pat Lam at the end of the match Lam with Enda Kenny after the stunning victory. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“The thing about the review on Monday – I’ve got a bit of work to do tonight – the thing ist that the players need to understand how we won. Most of the answers are our team structures and systems and what we do.

“The next thing on Monday is that the players need to know exactly how we’re going to beat the next team and how we go about doing it. That gives them the whole week to prepare.

Hey, it’s a final now and it’s against the team that has won the Pro12 more times than anyone else. They’re going to have the biggest representation [in the Ireland squad] that goes to South Africa and they’ve played World Cups.

“They’ve been there and done it. If we try to match them individually, we’ll get blown off the park.

“But as I said to the boys, it’s going to come down to our team structures on attack and defence.”

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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