Connacht boss Pat Lam believes a painful video analysis session of the province’s loss against Brive last weekend could prove a crucial learning tool as his charges chase a bonus-point victory against Yenisei-STM at the Sportsground on Saturday afternoon.
Brive capitalised on a disjointed display from Connacht to prevail 21-18, a result which leaves the Westerners’ hopes of advancing in the Challenge Cup out of their own hands.
“We need five points and that still doesn’t guarantee us, but it gives us the best possible chance,” Lam admitted.
“That’s all we can control.
“We’re back at the Sportsground. This is do or die for us in this competition, so we’ll be putting the strongest possible squad out to win the game and win the game well. And more importantly, be performing well.”
Reflecting on that defeat last weekend, Lam said: “All and all, when you look back, we put the footage together and we showed the things that we did well and how we built pressure well in the first half - there were only two clips.
“I’ve spoken to a few players and it’s fair to say that some of them were disappointed with their prep"
“The kick-off to start the game, we scored a try, and then we had a scrum and we put pressure on and that was eight minutes, and then that was it - nothing else for the rest of the half.
“Then when we were able to show the things that we didn’t do so well - it was a horrendous show.
“That’s part of the process and a lot of learning has come out of that.”
The Connacht supremo believes the lesson learned can now act as a springboard for Connacht’s charge in all competitions for the remainder of the season.
“All our skills are improved; the game plan is really solid for us, it can win games for us, the physical side, the guys are in good condition, were now down to the mental side of things.
“If you make a mistake, being able to move on and focus on the next job.
“I think we went from one mistake to the next mistake and so that’s been a really focus here.
“It’s about being really honest with our preparation.
“I’ve spoken to a few players and it’s fair to say that some of them were disappointed with their prep, maybe not as focused as they should have been.
“That to me is a great outcome, where players are a bit honest around what they did and didn't prep for their game, because ultimately we need to be consistence in performance.”