Connacht Rugby v Ospreys – Preview, Stats & Starting Team News. Kick off 3pm , SportsGround. Live on TV TG4
In the kickoff to the 2023/24 United Rugby Championship (URC) season, Connacht faces Ospreys in a highly anticipated match. Last season’s semi-finalists, Connacht, are aiming to rebound after losing two of their last three matches, while Ospreys seek to build momentum after a challenging run.
Connacht’s Recent Performance:
Last Season’s Semifinalists Facing Challenge’s
Connacht, who reached the semi-finals last season, stumbled in recent matches, losing to Glasgow in Round 18 and the Stormers in Cape Town. However, they’ve shown resilience, winning their last four URC fixtures at the Sportsground since a defeat by Ulster in December.
Irish Dominance Against Welsh Regions:
Connacht’s Winning Streak Continues
The Irish side has been formidable against Welsh regions, boasting a six-game winning streak. This dominance sets the stage for an intriguing clash as they aim to extend their streak against Ospreys.
- Connacht passed less often than any other team in BKT URC 2: just 9% of their carries ended with a pass. However, they made more post-contact metres per carry than any other team (0.96) and had the best rate of carry dominance in the league (27.8%)
- Tom Farrell made the most metres in contact in a single match last season, a total of 38 against the Stormers in the Semi-finals. He also made 37 against Leinster in Round 11. Furthermore, he beat more defenders than any other player in BKT URC 2 (44)
- Conor Oliver finished the season having made more tackles than any other player: he made a total of 239 and his tackle success rate was 91%
Ospreys’ Mixed Form:
Seeking Redemption after a Single Victory
Ospreys enter the fixture with only one victory in their last five URC encounters. Their sole success was a convincing 37-18 win against Dragons RFC at home in March. Can Ospreys turn the tide and find consistency this season?
Road Success and Struggles:
Ospreys’ Road Record and Recent Setbacks
While Ospreys clinched two away victories last season against Cardiff and Zebre in January, they face a challenging trend, having lost their last five encounters against Irish provinces since December 2021. Can they overcome the Irish hurdle in this opening round?
Round One Fortitude:
Ospreys’ Resilience in Round One
Despite recent challenges, Ospreys have a track record of resilience in round one, having not suffered defeat since 2019. Will this trend continue against Connacht, or will the Irish side capitalize on home advantage?
Connacht’s Recent Edge
In head-to-head clashes, Connacht has the upper hand, losing just one of their last six encounters with Ospreys. The 20-26 defeat behind closed doors at the Sportsground in January 2021 serves as a motivating factor for Connacht to secure a victory this time.
| Date | Match | Venue | Home | Away |
| 02 March 2019 | Connacht Rugby vs. Ospreys | The Sportsground | 46 | 5 |
| 02 November 2019 | Ospreys vs. Connacht Rugby | Swansea.com Stadium | 10 | 20 |
| 24 January 2021 | Connacht Rugby vs. Ospreys | The Sportsground | 20 | 26 |
| 04 June 2021 | Connacht Rugby vs. Ospreys | The Sportsground | 26 | 19 |
| 26 November 2021 | Connacht Rugby vs. Ospreys | The Sportsground | 46 | 18 |
| 29 October 2022 | Ospreys vs. Connacht Rugby | Swansea.com Stadium | 19 | 22 |
These recent URC meetings provide a fascinating history between Connacht and Ospreys. Connacht has displayed dominance in most encounters, especially at their home ground, The Sportsground. However, Ospreys have shown resilience, securing victories, and maintaining competitive scores.
Team News for Connacht v Ospreys
**Paul Boyle (Wrist):** Unfortunately, Paul Boyle will be sidelined for selection this week due to a wrist injury.
Players Nearing Return:
– **Shayne Bolton (Hamstring):** Targeting a return in the coming weeks, Shayne Bolton is diligently working towards full fitness after a hamstring issue.
– **Dave Heffernan (Thigh):** Aiming for a swift return, Dave Heffernan, recovering from a thigh injury, is on track to make himself available for selection soon.
– **Sean Jansen (Calf/Ankle):** In the rehabilitation phase, Sean Jansen is focusing on recovering from a calf/ankle issue and aims to return to selection availability in the near future.
Santiago Cordero’s Rehabilitation Progress:
**Santiago Cordero (Knee):**
Following surgery, Santiago Cordero is on a positive path to recovery. The management team reports that he has begun a rehabilitation plan, indicating encouraging progress.
Betting on Connacht v Ospreys
It’s currently Connacht -10pts which looks low, I’d be expecting Connacht to win by 20pts +
As Connacht and Ospreys lock horns in the 2023/24 URC opening round, the stage is set for a compelling battle. Connacht aims to maintain their home dominance and extend their winning streak against Welsh teams, while
Ospreys seek redemption and aim to break their losing streak against Irish opponents. This clash promises a thrilling start to the new URC season, showcasing the unpredictable nature of rugby and the determination of these two formidable teams.