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Published: 13:25 | 17/4/16

Pat Lam: Bundee is a Connacht man

Connacht hammered Munster 35-14 on Saturday

Connacht coach Pat Lam hailed the influence of Bundee Aki after the Westeners claimed a first ever league double over Munster with a 34-14 win at the Showgrounds on Saturday night.

Aki was simply sensational as he collected another man-of-the-match award with the powerhouse rifling through 20 carries and gaining 133 metres on the night.

And Lam believes Aki is growing into life out west and becoming very accustomed with the Connacht ways in his second season with the province.

“Bundee is a Connacht man. You can truly say he’s a Connacht man,” he said.

“He has truly embraced this area. He has embraced the people.

“With Pacific Islanders, everything is around the family and the extended family. It doesn’t need to be about blood; it just needs to be the people you care about.

“Bundee always talks about his brothers. You see that side but what I see is… he pushes some guys really hard. He gets in some people’s faces at training. He’s physical; he wants high standards. He drives that as well.

“He enjoys himself socially as well but, certainly, he has a lot of respect for these guys because he loves this place.”

The win guarantees Connacht’s place in the Champions Cup next season and Lam is fully aware of the historic achievement.

“I’m extremely proud,” he said. “I said the big goal was to get Champions Cup and it’s just such a massive, massive achievement for Connacht to get there. That’s ticked off now and last week I said one game, we’ve done that.

"To go unanswered 29 points sums up what we are about. We didn’t start well and we didn’t play well at the beginning, but the boys just have a lot of belief in what we are doing."

"When you go last and you watch Leinster get five points, you watch Ulster get five points, you see Glasgow get five, you realise that the pressure is on us," he added post-match.

"I said to the boys, we set the target at five points, but how we go about doing it was crucial. How we did it was a big thumbs up."

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