Sunday 19 November 2017

Ronaldson eager to 'back up' Toulouse performance

Connacht's Craig Ronaldson. Photo: Max Pratelli / Sportsfile
Connacht's Craig Ronaldson. Photo: Max Pratelli / Sportsfile

John Fallon

Fresh from his game-winning heroics against Toulouse, Connacht centre Craig Ronaldson is targeting a repeat result against Zebre this weekend.

Bundee Aki crossed for the levelling try, but it was Ronaldson's stunning conversion from the touchline - his first kick of the game - that claimed a memorable victory.

With little game-time under his belt since a thigh injury sidelined him for the opening weeks of the season, Ronaldson has reignited his partnership with Aki in the centre, and he is relishing a run of games.

But Connacht are wary of trips to Parma, especially given an electrical storm saved them from a first defeat in their history to Zebre last month. Connacht trailed 22-10 when their Pro12 game was abandoned, so Ronaldson is on high alert.

"We want to get a big start, we don't want to give them a sniff," said Ronaldson. "Watching that game, it just goes to show that if we are not 100pc focused they are a good team especially on their home patch.

"They might have rested a few players last week as well, they might have been having an eye on us this weekend."

Zebre's 12-try hammering by Wasps must have dented the Italians' confidence, but at home they are a far tough opponent.

Connacht, on the other hand, are brimming with confidence, but Ronaldson says there were no high jinks after wins against Ulster and Toulouse.

"In years gone past, if we got a big inter-pro win there would be a lot of celebrations, and the changing room would be buzzing," he said.

"Last weekend, we were very happy with the outcome but we were saying we have got to back this up. We are not just expecting ourselves to have a big performance every couple of weeks.

"We want to put big performance after big performance and really prove that we want to be at the top table of European Rugby."

Irish Independent

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