Saturday 1 October 2016

Carolan eyes Jersey 'scalp' as low-flying Eagles seek first victory

Published 19/12/2015 | 02:30

Connacht Eagles coach Nigel Carolan. Photo: Sportsfile.
Connacht Eagles coach Nigel Carolan. Photo: Sportsfile.

It's been another tough campaign for Connacht Eagles but coach Nigel Carolan isn't panicking as he knows just how important this tournament is for his young side's development.

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Connacht are without a win and have conceded 96 points in their three defeats, but Carolan is remaining positive as they travel to Jersey today (2.0).

"It was tough day at the office against Jersey last week and I expect the same ding-dong battle over there," he said.

"We know that if we play some positive rugby, it will create some opportunities. The challenge is if we can take our chances, and deal with the maul - we will have a small chance.

"It's a tough competition and for us, it's just about trying to deal with the difference in physicality. There's a professional team against players that are developing at this level.

"We are certainly learning, and the guys won't mind having another scalp at them."

Stephen Kerins, Pat O'Toole and Conor Kenny all come into the starting XV.

Connacht will be eager to register their first point but it could be another long afternoon.

Verdict: Jersey

Jersey - R Lane; T Howe, O Evans, M Cooke, R Adair; B Cope, S Fisilau; N Lancuba, N Selway, O Tomaszczyk; U Kolo'ofa'I, W Rowlands; A Rae (capt), J Freeman, T Spinks. Reps: S Lockwood, M Garcia-Veiga, D Herriott, D Markham, G Graham, J Moates, L Robling.

Connacht Eagles - C Gaffney; A Leavy, A Pewhairangi, C Brennan, E O'Keefe; C McKeon (capt), S Keirns; J Walshe, P O'Toole, C Kenny; P Claffey, C Gallagher; M Kelly, R Moloney, S McVeigh. Reps: J A Lazaro, M Burke, C Romaine, M Cosgrove, R Feehily, A Moynihan, J Keegan.

Irish Independent

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