Saturday 17 August 2019

Eagles must learn quickly - Carolan

Nigel Carolan
Nigel Carolan

Daragh Small

Connacht Eagles boss Nigel Carolan said his young side need to learn from their mistakes as they prepare for a tough away fixture against Doncaster Knights in the B&I Cup at Castle Park tomorrow (2.30pm).

It is a daunting task that is facing Carolan's youngsters. In this competition Connacht have lost four games in a row, while Doncaster have won three of their last four. All signs point towards a win for the hosts from the English Championship.

Doncaster are third in their league domestically, and in the B&I Cup they should have beaten Jersey last weekend. They led 22-5 away from home, but succumbed to a second-half comeback and can feel short-changed to come away from the island with a 22-22 draw after they failed to score after the interval.

Connacht also had a disappointing outing considering all of the promise the Eagles had shown in pre-season. They lost 34-10 against Dragons Select at the Sportsground.

However, they were missing several players from the wins away to Ulster Ravens and Leinster A, and when those players return it will bolster a promising squad. Although Carolan wasn't focusing on the missing personnel.

"We are not making an excuse for the players that we had. That is the players that we had available to us, and you can't fault the players' efforts. What they are learning is that mistakes are costly," said the Ireland U-20 coach.

"But they will grow through the competition, they know what they need to fix for Doncaster. But it is just having the ability to do it, in the heat of battle. The Dragons side had a lot more experience but I can't fault us for effort."

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