Wednesday 28 September 2016

Enisei test has built character of the squad

Johnny O'Connor

Published 20/11/2015 | 02:30

Connacht's Ultan Dillane makes a break through the Enisei-STM defence
Connacht's Ultan Dillane makes a break through the Enisei-STM defence

Siberia was a real team-bonding experience for the guys, and that will definitely stand to them in the long-term, but not getting back until Tuesday could really hurt them in the short-term.

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The trip broke the season up perfectly, to have that game after a few long hard weeks in the Pro12, but it would have been ideal had Connacht returned as planned early on Sunday.

Instead, an unforeseen problem with their plane cost them some vital hours on the training pitch, and the players are going to find it tough ahead of the clash with Brive.

The fact that it was such a young side made it all the more difficult, because to have their mental resolve tested like that is very hard. It will be interesting to see how they respond.

It was a tough and physical Enisei-STM side and the younger guys stood up and were counted, and now this squad knows they have a backbone to deal with even the most testing conditions, but at what cost?

I hope they don't come unstuck against Brive. There hasn't been any hard-luck stories so far this season, and hopefully this isn't one of them.

Irish Independent

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