Friday 20 April 2018

Carolan targets big performance

Nigel Carolan. Photo: Sportsfile
Nigel Carolan. Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Connacht coach Nigel Carolan has called on the squad to build on their recent touring form and restore some home pride following their loss to Zebre last time out in the Sportsground.

That 19-11 defeat to the Italian side was a real blow to Connacht's play-off ambitions, but a win away to Treviso and a powerful display in South Africa against Cheetahs has lifted the mood in the camp once more.

And Carolan says they need a big performance once again tonight against Edinburgh to restore a little bit of pride in the team.

"There is a lot at stake. In the league we have a lot to do and we have that big game against Gloucester in two weeks. The next two weeks will have a major impact on our season," said Carolan.

"Our last home game was against Zebre and we're bitterly disappointed. I think we let ourselves down and our organisation down. As a team, we let ourselves down and we let our fans down.

"We had a good home record, we had lost here since September. It's not as much the loss, but I think we underperformed. I think that was the most disappointing aspect."

But ten days on the road together has lifted the squad, according to Carolan, and he expects to see a big improvement against an in-form Edinburgh.

A win could see Connacht back to within four points of Cardiff, but Carolan is keen to see a big display.

"We went on the road for two weeks and we dogged it out over in Treviso. The lads were stellar in South Africa against the odds. It was a challenge between the travel and weather and quality opposition they fronted up with a performance that we expect we can do.

"But we've had a couple of really good days' prep on the back of that and refocused our minds so this is a big game for us and we're not taking it lightly."

Irish Independent

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