PAT LAM NAMED three Connacht captains going into the new season but his side have just one win after the opening month of RaboDirect Pro12 action.
Connacht conceded 24 points in the final 20 minutes of their Saturday defeat to Ospreys in Galway. Six tries were shipped in the 43 — 26 loss and Lam has scheduled a video and tactical review of his side’s third league loss for his charges this morning.
“It’s disappointing,” Lam told TheScore.ie post-match. ”It seemed like we had to work really hard to get those 26 points, which was a really good effort, but we gave up soft points. We released pressure by making silly mistakes and it is something we’ve got to keep working on.”
The Kiwi was disappointed with his side allowing Ospreys breach the Connacht line twice in the early phases of the first half and criticised his team for ‘falling away a bit at the end’.
For much of the game, turnovers went in Connacht’s favour and the penalty count was 12-3 in the home side’s favour yet they were cut to shreds when play got loose and open. Lam mused:
Turnovers at crucial times really hurt and a few system errors cost us. When you have systems, people have got to be accountable and we will go over that again on Monday. Rather than highlighting the errors, it is [the idea that] if you defend as an individual then you are going to pay the price. We certainly paid the price with those pretty soft tries we gave away at the end.”
Ospreys coach Steve Tandy was still eyeing improvements in his team despite a six-try performance. The Welsh side play Ulster at home at the weekend before Heineken Cup fixtures against Leinster and Northampton Saints. “Some of our attacking game was pretty ruthless when we had scoring opportunities. That’s a real positive for us.”
Tandy added, “Even though we were 10 points up, we said at half-time that Connacht would come back at us. They are a really good side that are playing a nice brand of rugby — really exciting — and it did test us.”
Ospreys may have been tested by Connacht but the province’s supporters will happily trade platitudes for wins with a crucial period of league and Heineken Cup action coming up.
- Additional reporting by Aaron Turner