Heineken Cup round-up: Pat Lam hails Connacht’s shock win at Toulouse


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The Independent Online

Connacht coach Pat Lam was delighted at the way his side held their nerve on Sunday to pull off one of the biggest wins in the history of the Irish provincial side and put them back in the hunt for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place.

A 16-14 over triumph over Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon took them to within one point of the top in Pool Three, – currently led by Toulouse and Saracens, who have 10 points – with three games, two of them at home, to play, and made it a clean sweep for all four Irish sides in the competition over the weekend.

Lam said: “We had a lot of belief coming to this game. Although we are at the bottom of the table this year, every single game we played we could have won.

“We have a team with no superstars. We missed so many opportunities throughout the season, but we still came here confident. We just had to make sure that everyone did their job.”

Connacht were outscored two tries to one but Kieran Marmion’s second-half effort combined with 11 points from the boot of fly-half Dan Parks  saw them claim a huge scalp.

After victories for Ulster and Leinster on Saturday, Munster swept past a weakened Perpignan team 36-8 at Thomond Park to strengthen their grip on Pool Six.

Nick Easter believes Harlequins have rediscovered themselves after an emphatic 32-8 victory over Racing Métro. Quins gave themselves a lifeline in the Heineken Cup with their first win of this season’s campaign.

“We have been slowly building since the last Heineken Cup game at Clermont and we have rediscovered ourselves and our verve,” said Easter. “But we know how tough this pool is and now we have to back it up next week.”