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It has been 3 full days since Connacht hosted Leinster at the Sportsgrounds in Galway. Thinking about that game for 3 full days, and I still don’t know how to feel about it.
It’s a mixture of disappointment and frustration, yet we saw a lot of positives that give me hope for the rest of the season. The disappointment stems from a lot of the positives I saw.
Andy friend said at the press conference that Connacht had nine entries into Leinster’s 22 on Friday and somehow came out of those nine entries with no points to show for it.
Can only imagine how much that frustrates the coaching staff. Connacht found it quite easy to break into Leinster territory but when it came down to the business end of scoring points they failed.
After the game I was disappointed with Connacht turning down three kicking attempts in the first half but upon reflection it was the right call. Still I believe taking points is never a bad idea, but Connacht’s game plan was clearly to keep the ball in Leinster’s half and force a mistake that they could capitalise from. It’s a smart game plan and was one of the reasons Connacht kept a formidable Leinster attack to only ten points for the game and only three points for the last 78 minutes.
Connacht players need to get scoring boots on ASAP
As a Connacht fan if you told me Leinster would only score ten points, I would have said Connacht would win easily enough. However, this season’s Connacht seem to be the opposite of last season’s Connacht. Last year Connacht had no issue scoring and scoring well but they were very leaky at the back.
Connacht this season have the lowest points conceded of the bottom six in the table but also have the lowest points scored in the entire league.
Zebre who are currently bottom have scored forty-four more points than Connacht in five games. That is a big number and not something Connacht fans would have expected coming into the season.
Deep down however I believe that this is the easier problem to fix. If this trend continues and Connacht can continue to become stingy then I have no doubt the attacking side of the ball will fix itself. Connacht have too much talent in the back line for them not to be scoring a few times a game. We have seen several times where one pass doesn’t go perfectly to hand and an attack breaks down but if that pass does go to hand its seven points. The players keep reiterating that and I believe them.
This weekends game is a big one. It is the first mid table team that Connacht will have faced this year and a good litmus test for where this squad really is.
A win this weekend is already vital for Connacht’s season.
One win from six is a disaster and a real uphill battle for the rest of the year.
Getting that second win will place them in a good place considering the opposition they have faced so far. It will not be easy but easy games don’t exist anymore in the URC.
URC Round 5 in the books. As always plenty to cover:
— Master Of None Podcast (@MasterOfNonePod) October 18, 2022