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Friend: We play like that against Ulster they’ll put 70 on us


Connacht coach Andy Friend. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Connacht coach Andy Friend. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Connacht coach Andy Friend. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Connacht coach Andy Friend said their 42-20 drubbing by Glasgow was the poorest performance he’s seen since arriving in the Sportsground in 2018.

And he warned that they will face another hammering by Ulster next Friday night unless they get their act together to take on a side who they thrashed 36-11 in the Aviva Stadium in October when they ruined the perfect start to the season by Dan McFarland’s men.

“In my three and a half years here I don’t think I have seen us play so poor. Just very disappointing with what we delivered. A rocket was delivered at half-time and we sparked for seven or eight minutes and we get to evens and then we folded again. Not a good day. If we play like that against Ulster they will put 70 on us,” said Friend.

Connacht centre Sammy Arnold said that while their trip to Ulster next Friday is not season-defining, they have to produce a reaction after a dismal performance in their own backyard when they were ran off the pitch by a rampant Glasgow. Six tries to two was a fair reflection of the gulf between the sides.

“Everyone is a bit down, it was pretty terrible for us, everyone just has to go away and look at themselves individually. We have a six-day turnaround before Ulster and there are a few things that need to be addressed immediately,” said Arnold.

“I think we were lucky to be close enough at half-time; it felt like we could not get a foothold into the game, their lineout defence was pretty good, so we struggled to get clean ball. And physically they just dominated us all around the pitch.”

Glasgow led 17-10 at the break thanks to tries from Rufus McClean, Kyle Steyn and hooker Fraser Brown. Connacht hit back with Arnold getting in to score. Debutant out-half Cathal Forde converted but Forde pulled back a penalty to leave it 17-10 at the interval. Connacht got back on level terms four minutes after the restart when Paul Boyle got over. Forde converted to make it 17-17 but Glasgow controlled the game after that and scored 12 points when Boyle was binned as McClean and Steyn both got their second tries and Jonny Matthews scored in the final play.

Scorers – Connacht: S Arnold, P Boyle tries; C Forde 2 pens, 2 cons. Glasgow: K Steyn (2), R McClean (2), F Brown, J Matthews tries; D Weir 3 cons, 2 pens.

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Connacht: T O’Halloran; A Wootton, T Farrell (S Bolton 24), S Arnold, D Kilgallen (O McNulty 59); C Forde, K Marmion (C Reilly 69); J Duggan (D Buckley 51), D Heffernan (S Delahunt 60), G McGrath (T Tuimauga 59); U Dillane (S Masterson 64), L Fifita (O Dowling 41); E Masterson, J Butler, P Boyle.

Glasgow: O Smith; S Cancelliere (S McDowall 74), K Steyn, S Tuipulotu, R McClean; D Weir, G Horne (J Dobie 60); O Kebble (J Bhatti 50), F Brown (J Matthews 60), E Pieretto (S Berghan 50); K McDonald, R Gray; R Wilson (L Bean 70), T Gordon, J Dempsey (A Miller 44).

Referee: N Berry (Australia).

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