Friday 23 August 2019

Connacht boss Kieran Keane calls his players' 'courage' into question

Connacht head coach Kieran Keane. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Connacht head coach Kieran Keane. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Cormac Byrne

Connacht head coach Kieran Keane doesn't mince his words when he talks to the media and took aim at his own players after Saturday evening's 23-15 win over the Cheetahs.

It was the western province's fourth win on the bounce after a difficult start to the campaign but the 63-year-old Kiwi felt his side were slipping back into bad habits and wasn't happy.

Keane was far from pleased with Connacht's tackling and wasn't laying the blame at the door of defence coach Peter Wilkins.

"Our tackling is not where it should be," he said.

"We have a great defence coach who works tirelessly, and I really feel for him for the effort he has put in. It's brought about a bit of a change, but courage? You can't coach courage and stuff like that, so it's difficult for him."

There are also problems in possession for Connacht, according to Keane.

"We have pretty good ambition which was really lacking in the first three or four weeks. Everyone was shovelling s**t to be honest, and now they basically have an edge... but out counterattack is a little tame and our kicking game has been a concern.

"The break is coming at the right time for me. I don't think I had any grey hair when I arrived. It's certainly coming at the right time for me and I think it's coming at the right time for them too.

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"I am wrapped for the fellas, and for the club to get the four wins. It's just the manner in which we went about it, slipping back into old habits is a little frustrating."

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