Connacht Rugby full of confidence going into Ospreys match on a Saturday

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Confidence is a strange feeling. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. One says this because I have a strange confidence about this Connacht team at the moment.

It’s been a good news week for Connacht fans with the announcement of plans for phase two of the stadium development 

It’s strange because Connacht currently sit 14thin the table and have only won two games and lost four. Not exactly dominating the URC by any means but something seems different about Connacht at the moment.

We have seen a certain resolve over the past three weeks from this Connacht side.

It could be due to the fact they had three home games in a row after a gruelling opening three games away. Teams at home do tend to perform better. I think however, there is a certain confidence about this team. A confidence we didn’t see last year going into games and this confidence is coming from that newfound resolve.

 

Last season we saw several instances where a Connacht team would make a mistake and compound it with more mistakes and that would lead to conceding. They had lost games before ever really getting going in those games. Reviewing silly errors game after game is not going to raise your confidence levels, how could it? This year started similar, against ulster Connacht didn’t get anything going and gave away silly penalty after silly penalty. Every game has gotten slightly better, however.

The last three games has been a great example of a team that hasn’t shot itself in the foot. Sure, there has still been moments of self-sabotage but far fewer and most importantly they are not followed by more errors. The latest game against Scarlets is the best example of this. Connacht started the second half and were all over Scarlets. They were approaching the try line and Paul Boyle was shown a yellow card and Connacht lost all their momentum and lost a man for 10 minutes.

 No doubt that last year’s Connacht would have crumbled, concede within that ten minutes and would have really struggled to claw the game back. This year it seems different. Connacht went straight back to applying pressure after Boyle left the pitch and scored a try shortly after. They didn’t miss a beat. It has to be down to confidence, confidence that they were a better team, that their set piece was better and that no matter what happened they were winning the game.

 I feel like that confidence will be brimming heading into the weekends clash away to the Ospreys.

Connacht will feel they are the better team even though the table shows them three points behind Ospreys. Connacht now have a set piece that should travel well no matter who they play and give them a real foothold in these games.

 

Both teams are losing stars to their international set ups, but Connacht will be missing far fewer players.

Ospreys are losing 13 players, that is an enormous amount to lose. Connacht are losing 5.

This weekend will be a good sign of the depth that Connacht possess and just how important the likes of Mack, Finlay, Heffernan, Prendergast, and Blade are. They obviously are important, but I think with the confidence around this squad currently, the remaining squad will be loving the opportunity to go and impress without the star men. A win this weekend will mean three wins from seven and give a much better reflection of this team. The pressure now to deliver away from home is on.

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