Tuesday 12 December 2017

Connacht in discussions to find new Zebre date

Pat Lam: seeking first points
Pat Lam: seeking first points
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Connacht have entered into discussions with Zebre and Guinness Pro12 organisers to find a new date for their abandoned clash.

The Westerners were 22-10 down when referee Ian Davies called the match off at half-time on Saturday, deeming the stormy weather in Parma to be too dangerous for the players to continue. Because only 40 minutes had elapsed, the result was declared null and void and the fixture will have to be re-played later in the season.

There are limited windows from which the two clubs can pick, and the game is likely to take place in March when the league takes a two-week break during the Six Nations.

The postponement is the latest setback in a disjointed campaign for the champions, who were heavily beaten at home in their first two games against Glasgow Warriors and Ospreys, although given the way the game was going Pat Lam may have been relieved by Davies' decision.

Bottom of the table, Connacht will look to get their first points on the board against the Scarlets in Wales on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the early Pro12 pace-setters Ospreys are expecting a step-up in their next two games as they visit Dublin to play Leinster on Friday night before taking on Ulster in Belfast a week later.

The Welsh region have taken all 15 points on offer against Zebre, Connacht and Treviso, but coach Steve Tandy knows the tasks will get more difficult in Ireland.

"It's going to get tougher, with back-to-back games in Ireland," he said. "I think the boys will be pretty confident, but Leinster had a great away win (at Edinburgh) and it's going to be our toughest game so far.

"You can only be confident if you've done your work during the week and we can't just turn up at Leinster and expect to play well.

"The boys have been spot on. We've got to continue to do that."

Irish Independent

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