Lam remains upbeat despite injuries

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 12:15
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NEWS: Connacht head coach Pat Lam believes his team still has a chance of reaching the last eight of the European Rugby Champions Cup despite an ever-growing injury crisis.

Lam is without a host of first-choice stars ahead of back-to-back games with Zebre and Toulouse.

The Sportsground outfit are level on points with Wasps and Toulouse on 13 in Pool Two, but saw star flyhalf Jack Carty and flank Jake Heenan add to their absentees at the weekend.

"We're excited by the opportunity in Europe but we need to see what the injury situation is and reassess," said Lam after his team's 7-29 defeat to the Ospreys.

"We'll know in the next 24 to 48 hours how they are. We're really low on numbers and a lot of our starters aren't there, but we need to dust ourselves off and we've got two massive games to try and get little Connacht into the last eight of the Champions Cup,"

Connacht meet Zebre in Galway on Saturday and then visit Top14 giants Toulouse the following Sunday.

Apart from the Italians, all three Pool Two sides can still qualify with Connacht still in with a chance of finishing top or as one of the tournament's best runners-up.

Carty is unlikely to be fit to face Zebre with a knee problem, but Lam remains upbeat.

"If Connacht can make the last eight in Europe - and we have a genuine chance in these two games - that would be massive for us," he said.

"The next two weeks will determine whether we can achieve that goal or not. We've got to get back on the horse.

"The minimum we want is to be in next season's Champions Cup. We keep trying to improve and the moments when you're struggling are when you get the most growth,"

As they look ahead to their final two rounds of fixtures, Connacht have added to their squad with the signing of Bedford's Tom Farrell.

The centre joins Lam's side with immediate effect. The 22-year-old has made 12 appearances for the Goldington Road club since joining in the summer from London Irish with his last being against his former club.

www.epcrugby.com

 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 5 0 1 24
Glasgow Warriors 6 4 0 2 19
Leicester Tigers 6 2 0 4 8
Racing Metro 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 1 1 22
Toulouse 6 3 2 1 18
Connacht 6 4 0 2 18
Zebre 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 1 0 24
Toulon 6 3 0 3 16
Scarlets 6 2 1 3 11
Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 4
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 23
Montpellier 6 3 0 3 16
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 26
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 14
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 0 4 12
Ulster 6 2 0 4 10