Thursday 25 May 2017

Scary stats for Bradley

Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning

If ever there was a time for Connacht to transfer some of their European form to the Magners League, then this afternoon in Swansea would be good.

Their history in the Liberty Stadium is not helpful and the scale of the defeat there usually depends on whether the Ospreys are fielding the high-flyers or the second string.

A year ago, it was the latter and the scoreline was a modest 22-10 to the home team. In the corresponding fixture over the previous two seasons, the average conceded by Connacht in defeat was 34 points -- both against strong Ospreys selections.

Michael Bradley has his best line-up out today while the home team will be minus their contingent from the Wales starting XV. That said, Mike Phillips is sure to get some time off the bench and given Wales' injury problems elsewhere Warren Gatland will need him to prove his fitness.

For Connacht, who have won four of their last five games between Europe and the Magners League, their scary statistic is that they haven't picked up a point away in the league since April 2008 and have lost their last 14 games on the road in this competition. Naturally enough, they are bottom of the table. Not much to lose then.

Ospreys: G Owen; J Vaughton, S Parker, A Beck, N Walker; D Biggar, J Nutbrown; R Bevington, R Hibbard, C Mitchell, I Gough (capt), I Evans, T Smith, T Tiatia, M Holah. Reps: E Shervington, C Griffiths, A Lloyd, J Collins, M Phillips, B Davies, T Prydie

Connacht: G Duffy; T Nathan, N Ta'auso, K Mathews, F Carr; I Keatley, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, S Cronin, R Morris, M Swift, B Upton, J Muldoon, G Naoupa, R Ofisa. Reps: A Flavin, J Hagan, M McCarthy, J O'Connor, C O'Loughlin, A Wynne, L Bibo

Referee: N Paterson (Scotland)

Ospreys v Connacht,

Live, Setanta Ireland, 5.0

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