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Published: 13:52 | 10/4/16

Lam "proud" of Connacht players

Rues missed chances to beat Grenoble

Pat Lam has stated how proud he is of his Connacht players after seeing them lose 33-32 in their Challenge cup quarter-final at Grenoble - but admits they could have won.

The western province were just five minutes from securing a famous win in France but Jonathan Wisniewski's late drop goal break their hearts.

Some observers felt that the Pro12 league leaders' attacking style was to blame but their head coach Lam disagrees, but did feel they could have closed the game out better.

"I sat in the changing room while the boys were out there [on the field]. I was obviously deflated and then I just started to reflect on the week we had,” he said.

“There was a lot of last-minute changes and I thought, 'Jeez, I'm proud of these guys'.

"We will be disappointed on Monday, because there was a couple of details we didn't quite nail.

“There was an opportunity when we were 13 points up and we didn't execute what we had done in training. I knew at 13 we just needed to get one more score and we could have killed them off.

“Fair play to them. Boys are out on their feet trying to keep them out. Obviously the yellow card [Denis Buckley] didn’t help us, but when they went ahead with the drop goal there was a lot of composure. I thought we should have kept the ball at the end there.

“Everyone always tells us to kick it out, but we kicked the ball out and they scored, so that’s maybe backing it when it really counts.”

“The boys have already talked about it – we’ll just take our learnings from it. This competition is now over, we can’t bring it back."

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