Wednesday 24 May 2017

Carty confident Connacht can repeat French heroics

Jack Carty is set to play his 50th game for the province this weekend: Chris Fairweather / SPORTSFILE
Jack Carty is set to play his 50th game for the province this weekend: Chris Fairweather / SPORTSFILE

Darragh Small

Out-half Jack Carty is confident Connacht can continue their high success rate in France when they take on Brive in the Challenge Cup on Saturday.

And he believes Connacht can thrive with their underdog status against a Brive team who are in a strong position to reach the knockout stages of the Top 14.

Pat Lam's men travel to Stade Amédée-Domenech on Saturday as they look to wrest back control of Pool 1 in the Challenge Cup.

Connacht remain top but after their disappointing defeat at Newcastle Falcons last time out, another loss in France could ruin their quarter-final hopes.

However Carty (23), set to play his 50th game for the province at the weekend, is backing his side to put up a big display and follow up last year's exploits when they won twice on French soil.

"We had La Rochelle and Bayonne last year, and we have proved that we can get these big results away when our backs are against the wall," he said.

"There is a special atmosphere in France. The game in La Rochelle last year was one of my favourite games that I have been involved in. The partisan atmosphere of the crowd, they boo your kicks - you feel like an underdog.

"We will be going over there knowing that this is a must-win game. It would be pretty nice to get a home quarter-final in the Sportsground. It is something that we are really gunning for," he said.

Connacht have now lost five of their last six in the Pro12 and Challenge Cup. The only victory came at home to Newcastle.

Carty believes his side can re-group and bounce back from last weekend's last-minute defeat at league leaders Scarlets.

"Last year you couldn't really dispute the result in some of the games that we lost. But these are really games that we should been winning. None more so than last weekend," he said. "We need to get off this losing streak."

Irish Independent

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