Thursday 23 March 2017

Centurion Buckley wary of Treviso's physical threat

Connacht's Denis Buckley Photo: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile
Connacht's Denis Buckley Photo: Pat Murphy/Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Connacht prop Denis Buckley says it would be foolish to look past lowly Treviso even with Champions Cup rugby on the horizon.

Connacht are top of Pool 2 in Europe ahead of their crucial back-to-back games against Wasps, beginning at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday week.

Tomorrow they host Treviso in the Pro12 and the reigning champions are badly in need of a win to back up their victory against Cardiff Blues last weekend.

Coming into that game, Connacht had lost against Leinster and Dragons, and they are still only eighth in the standings.

Buckley (26) made his 100th appearance for the province in their win at the Sportsground last time out, and the Roscommon native says Connacht are focused on the Italians this weekend.

Improve

"We have certainly started to look at Wasps a little bit, but first and foremost Treviso are coming this week and we know what they are capable of," said Buckley.

"They have a good physical forward pack and we will have to improve a little bit on last week to win that game first."

The Creggs clubman picked up a knee injury in the win at home to Edinburgh in Round 5 of the Pro12 and missed the victories over Ulster, Toulouse and Zebre.

He returned to full fitness for the 18-7 win over Cardiff and said it was a tremendous honour to reach the 100-cap marker - he made his debut for Connacht in 2011-12.

Having missing out on the Pro12 final victory over Leinster through injury, Buckley wants to make a big impression against Wasps in the Champions Cup.

"It's something I am proud of, didn't envisage reaching 100 caps when I started out here. The last few weeks has been preparing to try and put in a good performance and try and transition back into the team, and play to a standard that was at the level that we want to."

Irish Independent

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