Saturday 25 November 2017

We need to be sharp for Dragons - Blade

Caolin Blade. Picture: Sportsfile
Caolin Blade. Picture: Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Scrum-half Caolin Blade says Connacht need to discover how to learn on their feet to avoid a repeat of last weekend's defeat to Leinster.

After a bright 20 minutes against Leo Cullen's side, Connacht's individual errors and inability to deal with Leinster's line-speed in defence meant they fell away badly to defeat in the RDS.

And Blade (22) thinks that tonight's opponent, Dragons, will have picked up on that fragility in Pat Lam's side, which means they have to learn quickly from their mistakes to avoid a fifth league defeat from seven games.

"I think we could have adapted a small bit better. They did bring a lot of line-speed and it's something that teams don't usually do. It was the game-plan that they came in with," said Blade.

"I think we adapted quite well, but it was just those little errors that brought them into the game. If Dragons saw that they might come with that this weekend.

"It is about adapting on the fly and looking at the video and see what we can work on a bit better."

Blade was only introduced for the last three minutes of the loss in Dublin last weekend, but he was involved as hooker Shane Delahunt ran in their only try of the game in the final action.

And last season the Monivea native was a starter as Lam's side claimed their first away Pro12 win of the calendar year in February, their seventh consecutive win against the Welsh side.

"I played there last year when we beat them, I started that game. It's a tough place to go. It's about going there, working hard in the week and take nothing for granted and putting in a good performance," he said.

"We have a six-day turnaround and we have to park Leinster, move on and improve on the little things."

Urging girls to get involved

The U-13s girls rugby section kicked off the season in Portumna last weekend.

Ballinasloe, Portumna, Tuam/Ballina and Westport were all represented and each got three 20-minute games.

WCRO Wendy Hickey says: “The U-13s section,which was started last year, was a pilot project to bridge the gap between Minis and U-15s, and this project proved quite successful.

“I look forward to seeing the newer clubs take to the pitch for the next blitz in Westport on December 10.”

Anyone interested in Women’s and Girls rugby in Connacht can contact wendy.hickey@connachtrugby.ie.

Irish Independent

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