Friday 30 September 2016

Tough test ahead for Carolan's boys

Daragh Small

Published 18/12/2015 | 02:30

Connacht Eagles head coach Nigel Carolan
Connacht Eagles head coach Nigel Carolan

Connacht Eagles boss Nigel Carolan remains optimistic that his young side can front up ahead of a tough journey to take on Jersey in their B&I Cup Group 5 clash at St Peter's tomorrow (2pm).

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The depleted Eagles were hammered 40-10 at home to their English Championship counterparts last weekend, and are bottom of their group with three losses from their three games.

They have lost six in a row in the competition, and with numbers dwindling in the senior squad, Carolan's troops will have to dig deep again.

"I expect the same ding-dong battle against Jersey over there. It will be another groundhog day. But least we know what to expect now.

"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," he said.

The Eagles never got going last weekend, and Jersey notched their bonus point in the first half as they dominated up front.

Connacht will have to prepare themselves for another onslaught up front this time - all four of Jersey's first-half tries came from the rolling maul on Saturday.

"It's a tough competition, particularly when we don't have a whole lot of the personnel from the professional side of things.

"That's what we are finding out. 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," said Carolan.

Irish Independent

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