Pat Lam 'proud' of Connacht effort despite defeat to Northampton

Connacht head coach, Pat Lam, was a proud man despite seeing his side lose 21-15 to Northampton Saints who keep alive their hopes of European Champions Cup qualification for next season.

David Heffernan and Niyi Adeolokun scored tries for a spirited Connacht with Craig Donaldson converting one and kicking a penalty in a tight game.

However, there was to be no fairytale ending for Lam who takes over at Bristol for next season.

Lam said: "I was proud of the effort and am happier to be leaving after this performance as opposed to a couple of very poor performances in recent weeks.

"We fronted up and worked hard off the ball but discipline and little errors cost us as we didn't have enough accuracy and needed to play at a quicker tempo.

"We had opportunities to win the game but didn't take them and that's been the story of our season.

"It wasn't an easy decision to make to leave Connacht after four years but while we are still the weakest province in terms of budget, there have been lots of changes for the better with the support of all four counties in Western Ireland being terrific."

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder was a relieved man.

Saints now face a home tie with Stade Francais next Friday with the winners taking the last remaining place in next season's competition.

Nic Groom and Harry Mallinder scored tries for the home side with Mallinder converting one and adding three penalties.

Jim Mallinder said: "We knew they would stick together and be competitive throughout as we've never had an easy game against them.

"Remarkably I didn't have any problems raising the players for this game as they've been fantastic throughout the week.

"It's a terrific way to end the season with a home game against Stade but we'll have to play a lot better if we are going to win as they are getting better week by week.

"I'm not really a fan of these play-offs as it makes it a long season but we've been given a chance so we need to take that opportunity and from a financial point of view it's not the end of the world with two extra home games."


More in this Section

Celtic outclassed by Bayern Munich

Eden Hazard saves Chelsea's blushes in six-goal thriller against Roma

NFL decides against changing its policy on standing for US national anthem

Watch Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign as told by a Super Mario level


Today's Stories

Tipp kitman Hotpoint: ‘I wouldn’t go back now if they came on bended knee’

Rashford ingenuity proves decisive as Man United down Benfica

Peter O’Mahony: Munster leaders must stand up and be counted during critical spell

Hazard comes to the rescue for Chelsea in six-goal Roma clash

Lifestyle

Facing fears while terrifying punters at Cork's Nightmare Realm

Weathering the storm of 1961: We watched 30 large trees uprooted

Remembering the dead: Poignant reason behind Cork’s Zombie Walk

More From The Irish Examiner