Pat Lam: "The whole country is special"
Connacht lost to Northampton in the Champions Cup play-off semi-final21:56 Saturday 20 May 2017, 21:56 20 May 2017
Connacht coach Pat Lam signed off on a disappointing note with a loss against Northampton which ended their hopes of participation in next season's Champions Cup.
Lam is off to coach Bristol next season and reflected warmly on his time in Ireland.
Speaking to Off the Ball's Dave McIntyre after the match he said: "I thought it was massive. I'm really proud of them. I just said it's a decision whether we bring it or not. You know it's not an easy place to play and it's a quality team but the main thing is that the attitude and the commitment was there.
"There was a lot of effort but ultimately, you know, we had chances to win the game but our discipline wasn't great and little mistakes.
"It was a marked improvement over the last number of games and that's pleasing."
Northampton's Dylan Hartley and Rory Hutchinson console John Muldoon of Connacht after the game
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie
Looking back at the season, Lam lamented the Champions Cup loss against Toulouse in particular. "It still grinds me that Toulouse game," he said, adding: "that we were that close to getting into play-off rugby which would have been great.
"Obviously there's some big moments but we set ourselves high standards and it's been too much of a rollercoaster for many reasons but there's things there that can be taken on and improved on and I know Connacht will go from strength to strength."
Pat Lam with the Pro12 trophy. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Lam arrived in Galway in 2013 and speaking about his time at the helm he said: "It's been a wonderful time, you know. It's special people, the whole country is special and I just can't believe the way myself and my family have been welcomed in. It's a place I'll never forget and I've had a fantastic farewell with my community where I live.
"We had a great Irish craic night and I'll never forget this place and I'll never forget this team. It will always be a team I'll follow and want to do well."
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