Thursday 17 January 2019

Keane's side chasing historic victory

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

Declan Rooney

Win, lose or draw against Leinster in their final Guinness PRO14 game of the season, Connacht are guaranteed to finish in sixth place in Conference A and in 11th place overall.

A win next weekend might not boost the province's league standings, but it would be the first time in the team's history that they have beaten all three Irish provinces in one season.

With just six league wins from the 20 games to date it has been a disappointing first season in charge for Kieran Keane and his management team. But even if they lose next weekend at the Sportsground, they will have earned a better win percentage than other recent seasons.

In Pat Lam's first season in charge, 2013-'14, Connacht only won six from 22 games - a 27 per cent win return - while the 2008-'09 season saw Michael Bradley's team only claim four wins from 18 games (22pc) as Connacht finished last of the ten league teams that season in their worst campaign statistically.

When European games are taken into context, Connacht's season takes on a far rosier complexion, with 11 wins and a draw from their 27 games.

Interestingly, the results in the first half of the season were far more positive for Keane's side. In the first 14 games of the season they won seven of 14 games, while just four victories have arrived after the midway point, which actually started with a memorable victory over Ulster at the Sportsground.

There has been some notable victories though, as October's 20-16 victory over Munster and the rampant 44-16 win over Ulster at Christmas brought smiles to Connacht faces.

Irish Independent

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