The Connacht Rugby U17 squad recently returned from a two match tour of North Wales as part of their continued development ahead of the summer programme.
Based out of the exceptional facilities of Rydal Penrhos Boarding School in Colwyn Bay, the 30 man squad completed a five day, multi-faceted trip which incorporated strength & conditioning, on-pitch training, video analysis, goal and values setting, pool and sea recovery sessions and challenge matches against Sale Sharks U17 and Cheshire County U17.
In the first match, Sale’s pace and power propelled them to a 45-7 victory, despite Connacht enjoying the lion’s share of possession. The Sharks' ability to counter-attack meant that any errors were punished with ruthless efficiency but the Connacht players regrouped afterwards, analysed the footage and rectified their mistakes for the second fixture, a 34-7 thumping of Cheshire County’s finest.
Assistant Coach JP Walsh was impressed with how the players responded to the initial defeat.
“We are very pleased with the reaction from the players,” said Walsh. “We probably went into the first match a bit undercooked and suffered because of it, but the way the players pulled together and put in the performance they did against Cheshire County is a testament to their skills and ability.
“The trip has been a massive success, we’ve had the opportunity to test ourselves against some of the best players in this age category in the UK, the players enjoyed the experience and we’ve taken some very important learnings home with us.”
Connacht U17 Easter Tour Squad:
Adam Cunningham (Galwegians RFC)
Aodhan O'Donoghue (Castlebar RFC)
Ben Murphy (Buccaneers RFC)
Billy McVann (Ballina RFC)
Bradley Nealon (Ballina RFC)
Brendan Cunningham (Sligo RFC)
Cathal Roddy (Galwegians RFC)
Conor O'Shaughnessy (Galwegians RFC)
Craig McCormack (Ballina RFC)
Daniel Plaster (Castlebar RFC)
Darragh Murray (Buccaneers RFC)
Darren Browne (Buccaneers RFC)
Dylan Prendergast (Westport RFC)
Evan Kenny (Corinthians RFC)
Fergus Galvin (Buccaneers RFC)
Iarlaith Laheen-Morrin (Galwegians RFC)
Jack Dempsey (Buccaneers RFC)
Jack Egan (Corinthians RFC)
Jack Mulholland (Corinthians RFC)
Joe Leddy (Castlebar RFC)
Kevin Smith (Corinthians RFC)
Liam Winnett (Buccaneers RFC)
Mathew Fitzmaurice (Corinthians RFC)
Mathias O'Neill (Buccaneers RFC)
Nathan Horan (Buccaneers RFC)
Niall Carney (Corinthians RFC)
Saul O'Carroll (Buccaneers RFC)
Sean Keaney (Galwegians RFC)
Stephen Loftus (Westport RFC)
Thomas Connolly (Galwegians RFC)
An action shot from the tour. Photo: www.tonybale.uk
The dreaded sea recovery session!