Andy Friend previews Emirates Lions clash

26 January 2023

Andy Friend previews Emirates Lions clash

Connacht welcome South African side Emirates Lions to The Sportsground this Saturday for Round 13 of the BKT United Rugby Championship, k/o 7:35pm.

Last weekend was a tough day at the office for Connacht losing to Newcastle in the Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby Andy Friend said the squad left England frustrated with the performance at Kingston Park.

"We reviewed the game and its frustrating that we can't change it regards the result and mistakes we made"

"A massive opportunity was missed"

This weekend attention turns o the Lions who got their first win since mid December after beating the Dragons and Andy knows that will give them new confidence coming to Galway.

"They won at the weekend which was their first in a few games so that should give them confidence coming here"

"We know they are a tenacious side, they stay in the game and keep fighting till the end"

"I think their game is built on set piece"

"They have a massive scrum with a big forward pack and have a really good maul"

"They have a good attack but our defence is one of the strongest parts of our game so I'm confident that our lads can stop them"

"They might not have the star names like the other South African sides but they have some talented individuals that can hurt teams"

For Connacht the hope of reaching the play-offs are still in sight but Andy Friend know's they need to get on a winning run from now till the end of the season.

"We can't afford another slip up in the URC this season as we've used up all that"

"We are very aware of how big Saturday's game is to us"

This will be Andy's last season involved with Connacht and he spoke about how the time is flying as they get closer to the end of the campaign.

"Time is flying by and its hard to believe that we only have a minimum of six URC games left and a minimum of one Challenge Cup game"

"There's still a job to do here and its really important that we don't have any more slip ups"

"Our backs are to the wall and that's down to us but I'm hoping we finish strong which I believe we can do"

Tickets for Saturday's game are available HERE