Thursday 20 September 2018

Connacht fret over O'Halloran and O'Brien for Glasgow trip

Connacht are sweating over the fitness of Tiernan O’Halloran and Sean O’Brien as they seek to get back to winning ways against PRO14 Conference A leaders Glasgow this weekend. (stock picture)
Connacht are sweating over the fitness of Tiernan O’Halloran and Sean O’Brien as they seek to get back to winning ways against PRO14 Conference A leaders Glasgow this weekend. (stock picture)

Declan Rooney

Connacht are sweating over the fitness of Tiernan O'Halloran and Sean O'Brien as they seek to get back to winning ways against PRO14 Conference A leaders Glasgow this weekend.

O'Halloran sustained a foot injury in the chastening defeat to Ospreys last Friday, while O'Brien sustained a nasty cut to his head and is going through head injury return-to-play protocols.

Coach Jimmy Duffy called for an improved performance in Scotland this weekend and insisted Irish international O'Halloran is still in with a chance of being fit.

"His (O'Halloran) foot swelled up after the game but they put him in a boot and the medics are looking after him," explained Duffy. "He was bouncing around the place yesterday, so I think it was just precautionary. Hopefully he will be in a good space for the weekend."

After last weekend's 39-10 defeat at the Liberty Stadium, head coach Kieran Keane said his team were repeatedly bullied and physically bettered but, on reflection, Duffy thinks there was no lack of effort on display. He also urged patience from fans after a below-par campaign.

"After the game you might be disappointed with areas and you may identify an area that's a problem for you, but when you look back at it I don't necessarily think (we were bullied)," he said.

"In the last couple of years winning the Pro12 the expectation was very, very high. But things happen afterwards.

"We'd never been in that position before, we'd never won a trophy, we'd never transitioned out so many key players, we'd never had a pre-season with seven people away on international duty.

"They were massive learnings for us as a club and I think we are stronger for it.

"It will take some time and I understand the supporters may be frustrated, but I think people have to see what's coming, where we are going and some of the performances that we have put together."

On a positive note, lock Andrew Browne took a full part in training following his shoulder injury this week, while Grand Slam hero Bundee Aki is available after sitting out last week's clash.

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