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PREVIEW: Lam demands Connacht backlash

Tuesday 19th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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En voyage sur le littoral Atlantique samedi à 18h30

En voyage sur le littoral Atlantique samedi à 18h30

Pat Lam has demanded an emphatic response from his Connacht Rugby team to have any hope of clinching a European Challenge Cup quarter-final place.

Head coach Lam branded last week’s 21-18 loss at Brive in the European Rugby Challenge Cup as their “worst display” of the season.

The loss means saw Connacht lose top spot in Pool 1 and relying on other results to go their way in the final round of games, even with a win over Enisei-STM.

That only served to heighten Lam’s frustration after Connacht looked set to clinch qualification before conceding a late penalty to Brive.

Lam said: “That was probably our worst performance this season. Ill-discipline gave them easy points. It was just a game that we threw away really so we’re extremely disappointing.

“I am expecting a backlash from this performance because take the outcome out of it I am just not happy with the performance whatsoever.”

Connacht will have to beat Enisei at the Sportsground to have any hopes of qualification. But they face a Russian side full of confidence after their morale-boosting second win of the competition and looking for a third scalp.

David Kacharava scored twice and Denis Simplikevich crossed while Iurii Kushnarev landed four kicks in a shock 24-7 win over Newcastle Falcons last week.

Lam said: “We should have been home and hosed, and already qualified. Again we have only got ourselves to blame – that’s the reason we have not qualified.

“Now we need to win next weekend but I just think we have just got to play better, that’s the main priority whatever the outcome is.”

Match Facts

  • Connacht have now lost their last two Challenge Cup matches, this after winning their opening three games of this season.
  • In contrast, Enisei have won two of their last three, although they are yet to win away in the competition.
  • Enisei-STM have been outscored 88-10 so far in their away campaign in the Challenge Cup.
  • Connacht have won 12 of their last 15 home matches in the Challenge Cup, including both of their home fixtures this season.

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REPORT: Connacht through thanks to the Falcons

Saturday 23rd January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Tributaires du résultat de Brive qui jouait en même temps

Tributaires du résultat de Brive qui jouait en même temps

Connacht sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup thanks to a 47-5 triumph over Enisei-STM and Newcastle Falcons’ late victory over Brive.

The French side led Pool 1 at the start of the day, but Connacht’s bonus-point triumph secured them 19 match points and top spot. Brive led 22-23 heading into the final minutes, but Simon Hammersley crashed over at the death to do Pat Lam’s side a huge favour.

 Tiernan O’Halloran, Matt Healy, Denis Buckley and Danie Poolman scored tries to secure the five match points by half-time. And they finished the job after the break thanks to scores from Robbie Henshaw, Tom McCartney, a second try from Healy and Caolin Blade.

It took 11 minutes for the Sportsground side to break their Russian opponents down, but the breakthrough finally came after 11 minutes, when AJ McGinty fired them in-front with a penalty. Jurijs Baranovs’ yellow card after 14 minutes proved to be a turning point as Connacht made the most of their man advantage.

O’Halloran was the first to go over after the ball was worked wide following a scrum in the Russian 22. In-form wing Healy scored Connacht’s second against the 14-men of Enisei, and McGinty on target with the conversion to make it 15-0.

After some free-flowing rugby, the third try came from pure power. The hosts drove a lineout from close-range, and Buckley was at the bottom of the pile to touch down. And the bonus-point was wrapped up before half-time. Robbie Henshaw found Poolman with a well-weighted pass for the wing to stroll over.

It took less than a minute for Henshaw to go over for a try of his own after the break. But Enisei showed their mettle to pull five points back though bruising flanker Vitalii Orlov. But McCartney put the hosts back on the front-foot, before Healy cruised over to complete his brace.


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