Pat Lam says loss against Zebre would end Champions Cup hopes

Connacht coach targets 10 points from remaining games in Pro12 top-six chase

 Connacht head coach Pat Lam: “If we lose this week, it’s all over, it’s finished. We have to put all our energy and focus on getting the win ourselves and see what happens elsewhere.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Connacht head coach Pat Lam: “If we lose this week, it’s all over, it’s finished. We have to put all our energy and focus on getting the win ourselves and see what happens elsewhere.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Connacht are throwing everything into bagging a win against Zebre this weekend, while also hoping results elsewhere go their way to boost their dwindling hopes of Champions Cup rugby next season.

Pat Lam says unless his team continue their 100 per cent record over the Italian franchise, Connacht’s Pro12 season will be over come Saturday evening.

“If we lose this week, it’s all over, it’s finished. We have to put all our energy and focus on getting the win ourselves and see what happens elsewhere,” he says.

“What we have seen all season is that any team can beat the other, and where we are going, it’s a big challenge. We saw what happened in the Scarlets’ match against Zebre, so we are under no illusions. They have a lot to play for because they are chasing Treviso for Champions Cup rugby.”

Lam accepts Connacht’s chances of qualifying for the Champions Cup have been made all the more difficult by their loss to Glasgow two weeks ago which resulted in being overtaken by both Scarlets and Edinburgh.

Dropped out

“Instead of heads down, we are going after the 10 points. We cannot control what happens to other teams, only how we perform.”

However, Lam will be forced to stick with the same squad that lost to Glasgow 31-13 when they head to Parma for Saturday’s final away fixture of the season.

With 13 on the injured list, Lam says there is progress, but no change as time is running out.

“There’s a few more running around on the side of the field which is promising, but at this stage no changes. It could still be crucial because we don’t know when our last game will be, but that’s the unknown.”

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