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Pat Lam was delighted by the spirit shown by his injury-ravaged Connacht squad in the 25-10 Challenge Cup win over Newcastle Falcons on Friday.
Fly-half Jack Carty kicked 20 points as Connacht secured their third win in three European Challenge Cup matches, and their seventh home win in seven matches in all competitions, in front of a 4,346-strong crowd at the Sportsgrounds.
The province went into the match missing 18 players through injury, forcing Lam to include three hookers in his matchday squad, and then lost captain Tiernan O’Halloran to injury ahead of the match in Galway.
“I am very, very proud of the guys, it has just been horrendous, the injuries. Then we lost Tiernan O’Halloran. We had Matt Healy, who has never played full back, operating at this level." Connacht head coach Lam said after watching his side record a first Challenge Cup win over an English side since 2010.
"Then we had six academy in there too and they all acquitted themselves well.
“The thing I love about this team and these guys is that they are all hungry, they all want to be a part of it. We have always said, clarity of jobs you get out there and show what you can do.
“We had to grind it out, it was a tough game. The conditions, it was pretty soft underfoot. We put some pressure on them and didn’t quite finish things off."