Saturday 1 October 2016

Eagles take positives in defeat

Connacht Eagles 10 Jersey 40

Published 14/12/2015 | 02:30

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

Connacht Eagles coach Nigel Carolan was forced to pick from the bare bones of his squad, and they got well beaten by Jersey, but he believes that it can be a big learning experience for these young players.

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With the senior team missing 22 players through injury, a lot of the regular Eagles squad have been given their chance in the Pro12 and Challenge Cup.

Carolan says the players need to look at the bigger picture and focus on their personal development rather than results.

"It's how these guys can grow and learn from their experiences here, and I have no doubt there is good crop of fellas here who will be putting their hands up for the professional team in the not too distant future."

Stephen Kerins crossed for Eagles' only try but there was never any chance of them overcoming a 28-3 half-time deficit.

Uili Kolo'ofa'i (twice), Ignacio Saenz Lancuba and Jack Winter-Moates all touched down as a result of Jersey rolling mauls and Aaron Penberthy kicked the conversions. Conor McKeon's penalty was all Connacht could muster.

Connacht flanker Matthew Cosgrave was sent to the bin in the second half during which Kolo'ofa'i completed his hat-trick and Ollie Evans touched down for their sixth try.

Connacht Eagles - C Gaffney; A Leavy, C Brennan, A Pewhairangi, E O'Keeffe (J Keegan 65); C McKeon (A Moynihan 65), C Lowndes (S Kerins 65); J Walshe, J Dinneen (J A Lazaro 40), S Meunargia (C Kenny 53); P Claffey, C Gallagher (C Romaine 53); M Kelly (M Cosgrove 65), R Moloney, S McVeigh.

Jersey - R Lane; M McCrea, O Evans, M Cooke, E Dawson (J Burroughs 53); A Penberthy (J Dudley 53), J Moates (R Owen 65); N Lancuba (R Anderson 57), N Selway (S McCarthy 57), D Herriott (B Featherstone 65); D Markham, P Phillips (W Rowlands 45); J Freeman, T Spinks, U Kolo'ofa'i.

Ref - Dan Jones (Wales).

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