Connacht frustrated in victory

Sun, 12 Jan 2014 12:06
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Both sides were left feeling frustrated after Connacht beat Zebre 20-3 on Saturday night.

Both sides were left feeling frustrated after Connacht beat Zebre 20-3 on Saturday night.

The Irish outfit eased to victory at the Sportsground but could only muster two tries as they missed out on maximum points.

Their failure to finish off a number of chances left head coach Pat Lam unsatisfied, while Zebre second row George Biagi saw the trip to Galway as an opportunity missed for the Italians.

"It was frustrating because early on we lost so many opportunities. The quality of our kicking was inaccurate, we kicked recklessly and not in the right place, and we gave the ball away at crucial times," said Lam.

"I am happy with the win - you don't take wins lightly in European rugby - but I am also pretty disappointed. The outcome is great because we got the win, but ultimately we were not clinical enough. We had so many opportunities right across the board that we didn't take."

Connacht could still be pushing for second place in the pool and a quarterfinal spot of one sort or another if Toulouse see off Saracens on Sunday, though, and Lam is desperate to avenge their narrow defeat to the English league leaders back in October.

"If Toulouse win at home then it's all up for second place, so realistically we are right there," added Lam.

"We now have a big week ahead. Our cup form has been good, but that first game against Saracens still irks - a case of what could have been."

As for Zebre, they headed to Ireland on a high after a second domestic win in their short history against Treviso last week but they were second best for much of the match.

A Luciano Orquera penalty was all they could muster and Biagi admits the mood was downbeat after the final whistle.

"It was very disappointing for us today. In the first half we had a few try-scoring opportunities, but we didn't capitalise and that really cost us the game. Then every time they came into our half, they scored, so it killed us," said Biagi.

"For us it is very important to get a European Cup win - you are on the world stage and everyone relishes these games, so to come here and not really perform is very disappointing.

"Now we have Toulouse next week and it won't not come any easier, but we are playing at home and we will do our best to perform."

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Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
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Leinster 6 1 0 5 6