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Published: 11:51 | 8/5/16

Lam calls for Connacht improvement

Coach wants more ahead of PRO12 semi

Connacht coach Pat Lam says his side must improve if they are to overcome Glasgow in their PRO12 semi-final at The Sportsgrounds in two weeks time.

The Irish province put in a huge performance to beat the league's form team 14-7 yesterday to secure a home semi-final against the same opposition.

But Lam believes that there is still plenty of work to be done and that they must improve if they are to reach the final in Murrayfield at the end of the month.

“I just challenged the boys in the changing room. We’ve got two weeks now," he said after the game.

"If we just rock up, we’ll struggle because they’re going to be better, we need to be better.

“There’s no doubt we were underdogs for this one because of the form they were in. For us to come in and do what we just did, playing a game of rugby we haven’t played.

"Everyone questioned, can we play this sort of rugby with a controlled kicking game, our kick-chase game, our defence? But when it counted we stepped up, certainly against the attacks they had."

Connacht have been the surprise package of this season's PRO12 campaign, but few pundits gave them much of a chance against 2015 champions Glasgow.

However, an early try from Bundee Aki set them on their way and, although Gordon Reid crossed for the Scottish side to level matters, full-back Tiernan O’Halloran collected Shane O'Leary's high cross-field kick to touch down for the decisive score after Warriors were reduced to 14 men following Sila Puafisi dismissed for a headbutt on Kieran Marmion.

“Shane [O’Leary] put a great cross kick and Tiernan’s old Gaelic skills came to the fore and got a great try,” Lam added.

“Over here in Ireland, all these kids, they jump up in the air and they’re great and they’re used to that sort of stuff and Tiernan’s one of the best for us with high-ball rugby, which is why he’s such a class full-back.”

By: Kieran O'Daly

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