Pat Lam reveals why Munster used to be his "favourite team" long before his Connacht days

The fans and team had an impact on him during his playing days and formative years

BY Raf Diallo 20:02 Thursday 17 November 2016, 20:02 17 Nov 2016

Pat Lam with Northampton against Munster in 2000 ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Connacht head coach Pat Lam says he had a fascination with Munster during his playing days.

Having played against the province in the 2000 Heineken Cup final win for Northampton and also was well aware of Munster's famous victory over the All-Blacks in 1978.

The New Zealander was on Off The Ball's RDS Roadshow alongside Leinster star Isa Nacewa and spoke about that early interest in the province before his coaching days.

"It was phenomenal, the Munster supporters. Munster was my favourite team until I arrived in the west because obviously us growing up, you knew they beat the All-Blacks," he said of that early interest.

Recalling a tight match which finished 9-8 to Northampton over 16 years ago, Lam was struck by the actions of the Munster fans despite the fact they had just seen their team lose out.

"But that day, we were just surviving and hanging in there because a lot of us were injured and we were right against it. But we didn't train much during the week. We just said 'hang in there,'" he said. 

L to R: Pat Lam, Isa Nacewa, Brian O'Driscoll, Keith Wood and Ger Gilroy

"But afterwards was just unbelievable... the way these [Munster] guys were, the crowd, the singing and even clapping us when we came out. I had just never seen a losing crowd do that. And then right from then, I even followed them back when I was in New Zealand, all the games and it was great," he said. 

He also spoke about taking time to share a moment with late Munster head coach Anthony Foley after that game.

"I marked Axel that day and me and him had a beer afterwards. He came in and we shared a beer and then [actors] Peter O'Toole and Richard Harris came in and that was amazing," he said.


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