Friday 9 December 2016

Carolan: We'll learn from loss

Connacht 10 Dragons Select 34

Published 16/11/2015 | 02:30

Connacht Eagles head coach Nigel Carolan:
Connacht Eagles head coach Nigel Carolan: "It was a difficult day"

Connacht Eagles boss Nigel Carolan says his young squad have much to learn in the wake of their big defeat at home to Dragons Select in the B&I Cup.

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Connacht were missing several front-liners who were away with the senior side on Challenge Cup duty. And Dragons Select tore into Connacht from the outset and as handling errors mounted, Dragons capitalised.

The Welsh were rock-solid and notched three tries in the first-half, with Adam Jones and Luc Jones crossing and a penalty try.

Star out-half Angus O'Brien kicked nine points but got yellow, as did Connacht's Rory Moloney and his side were 24-0 down at half-time.

Conor McKeon's penalty was a brief reprieve after the break, but Elliot Frewen put the game beyond doubt in the 52nd minute. Saba Meunargia touched down late on for Connacht but the damage was done.

"It was a difficult day. Dealing with the conditions it doesn't suit either team. We are not making an excuse for the players we had, they are the players available," said Carolan. "In the first-half it was most disappointing, we gifted them three tries through our own turnovers. We spoke about minimising the risks and it shows mistakes are so costly for young fellas playing at this level."

Connacht Eagles - C Gaffney; A Leavy, C Brennan, E O'Keeffe, J Keegan (S Keller 79); C McKeon (A Moynihan 73), C Lowndes (S Kerins 65); J Walshe (M Burke 79), P O'Toole (J Dinneen 57), S Meunargia; C Romaine, B Marshall (P Claffey 65); M Kelly, R Moloney, S McVeigh (C Gallagher 65).

Dragons Select - GR Jones; E Frewen, B Nightingale, A Jones, A Warren; A O'Brien (A Robson 73), L Jones (O Davies 73); L Garrett (R Cornock 70), H Gustafson (T R Thomas 58), L Fairbrother (A Jeffries 70); S Andrews, A Sweet (A Brown 50); S Matthews (L Crocker 68), J Benjamin, H Keddie.

Ref - M O'Grady (RFU).

b & I Cup

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