Preparations continue in Wasps defeat

Wasps 40-22 Connacht

In Kieran Keane’s first game as Head Coach, Connacht went down by 18 points in a preseason friendly away to Wasps in the Ricoh Arena. There were however, many positives to take from the game, with Connacht in a commanding 19 points to 5 lead well into the second half after making 14 half time substitutions made.

 

Connacht got off to the best possible start with a try from Tom McCartney after just eight minutes following a period of pressure where Ronaldson opted to kick to the corner twice when the opportunities for three points were on. McCartney’s touch down in the corner was followed by an identical effort from winger Rory Scholes on his Connacht debut. This time Ronaldson converted  from the sideline to leave the score 12-0 to Connacht after 12 minutes.

 

Within minutes Wasps were over for their first try after a break from Christian Wade. With Wasps failing to convert the teams went in 12-5 to Connacht at the break.

 

After making 14 changes at half time, the second half opened well for Connacht. Stacey Ili kept the momentum up with a fantastic break after which he managed to get over the Wasps line. After replacement out-half Steve Crosbie converted, the score stood 19-5 to Connacht. With a Wasps man in the bin, it seemed that Connacht would drive on. But apart from a straightforward penalty from Crosbie a few minutes later, Connacht would not score for the remainder of the game.

 

Wasps went on to score five converted tries, two of which came in the last five minutes, to run out convincing winners.

 

Speaking afterwards Head Coach Kieran Keane felt there were both positives and negatives to take from the performance: “I was extremely happy coming in at half time. There was great fight in the guys and we scored two fantastic tries. We came out in the second half with an entirely different team and I think that unsettled us somewhat. We will have some work to do on our defence ahead of the Bristol game and our Championship opener at home to Glasgow”.

 

“The objective of today was to get guys as much game time as possible and we managed to do that. The focus now shifts to selecting our first fifteen and that will be our focus for the next week”.

 

Connacht: D Leader, R Scholes, E Griffin, C Ronaldson, M Healy, J Carty, J Mitchell, P McCabe, T McCartney, C Carey, J Cannon, A Browne, E Masterson, J Butler, J Muldoon. Replacements: C O’Donnell, S Delahunt, D Robertson McCoy, P Claffey, G Thornbury, E McKeon, J Connolly, S O’Brien, C McKeon, S Crosbie, M Byrne, S Ili, C Brennan, C Kelleher.

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