Monday 24 July 2017

Lam keen for improvement

Tiernan O’Halloran must be wondering what he has to do to earn his chance in the Ireland set-up. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Tiernan O’Halloran must be wondering what he has to do to earn his chance in the Ireland set-up. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

It was during the international windows last season that Connacht really thrived and if the defending champions are to get their season back on track, a win in Cardiff tomorrow is imperative.

Tiernan O'Halloran must be wondering what he has to do to earn his chance in the Ireland set-up but he will have to put his disappointment to one side as he returns at full-back for the Westerners.

Just six points separate the two teams before kick-off but, crucially, Connacht have a game in hand on Cardiff.

It's been a frustrating season at the Sportsground but Pat Lam believes that his side have been rejuvenated by the break.

"While it was good to get the break and a chance to work away on different aspects of our game, we're all really looking forward to going out and playing this weekend," he said.

"Cardiff have always been tough opponents for us, particularly away from home where so many games have gone right down to the wire.

"We expect a big challenge again and we know there is little room for error as we look to improve our overall performance."

Verdict: Connacht

Cardiff Blues - M Morgan; B Scully, R Lee-Lo, S Shingler, R Williams; G Anscombe, L Williams (capt); R Gill, K Dacey, A Peikrishvilli; J Hoeta, J Down; M Cook, J Navidi, N Williams. Reps: M Rees, M Thomas, S Andrews, S Davies, S Bennett, T William s, W Halaholo, T James.

Connacht - T O'Halloran; N Adelokun, S Ili, C Ronaldson, M Healy; J Carty, J Cooney; D Buckley, T McCartney, JP Cooney; Q Roux, J Cannon; S O'Brien, J Heenan, J Muldoon. Reps: D Heffernan, R Loughney, J Andress, N Dawai, N Fox-Matamua, C Blade, T Farrell, D Poolman.

REF - M Mitrea (FIR).

Cardiff Blues v Connacht, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, tomorrow, 1.05

Irish Independent

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