Sunday 22 July 2018

Europe's top scorer Carty looks for rare win in Dublin

Connacht's Jack Carty. Photo: Sportsfile
Connacht's Jack Carty. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Connacht out-half Jack Carty is hopeful they can continue their winning run when they travel to take on Leinster at the RDS on New Year's Day.

Carty's superb form is one of the main reasons Connacht have chalked up three good wins in-a-row and he will go into the showdown against Leinster as the top scorer in Europe.

His haul of 53 points as Connacht ran up four good wins in their Challenge Cup pool sees him top the scoring charts in Europe, edging ahead of Clermont Auvergne's Morgan Parra who has amassed 51 points in the Champions Cup.

And if all goes to plan for Carty in the coming weeks and months he should hit two milestones for his native province.

The win over Ulster at the weekend was his 94th game for Connacht so he should hit the 100 mark before too long, while he is just 24 points short of 500 for the province.

But first up for the 25-year-old is trying to continue their good run when they take on a Leinster side who look set to have Johnny Sexton playing opposite him.

Carty was thrilled with the record 44-16 win over Ulster at the Sportsground, a victory which will give them hope of a first win at the RDS.

Playing

"The heads-up rugby that we've been playing over the last two weeks has given us a lot of confidence.

"It's something that we've been striving to do all year and there were certain situations where it was happening and a couple of occasions, Cardiff and Zebre, where it didn't, but it was important that we stuck to that game-plan."

Connacht are boosted by not picking up any new injuries from that six-try-to-two win over Ulster, but they will need to produce something special to thwart a Leinster side on a high after their impressive 34-24 win away to Munster with a largely second-string side.

Connacht have been knocking down barriers in recent years but they have only managed one win away to Leinster - a 26-23 victory in 2002 when former Leinster player Mark McHugh landed a stoppage-time drop-goal to snatch a dramatic victory at Donnybrook.

Since then, it has been one disappointment after another for Connacht but Carty said they will go there looking to end that run.

"We've been there or thereabouts in the last couple of years.

"We always go up to the RDS trying to create a bit of history and January 1 will be no different.

"Leinster will have their homework done on us. They'll look at a few things but we'll be going all guns blazing to get the win," added Carty.

Irish Independent

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