This Saturday Connacht travel to Swansea where they take on the Ospreys at the Swansea.com Stadium in Round 7 of the BKT United Rugby Championship (7.35pm).
Last Friday Connacht got a much needed win at home when they beat Scarlets 36-14 to get a bonus point win. Speaking to media ahead of Saturday’s game Jarrad Butler was asked what the thoughts were from the squad after the win?
“In the forwards review we were really happy with our 100% scrum launch which was a positive against a good team like Scarlets and our line-out defence was very good as well”
“Not everything was perfect but we are in a much better place this week”
The toughness of this current Connacht team has been talked about of late by media, Jarrad was asked if there’s a harder edge to this Connacht side compared to previous ones.
“I think we have had a real strong focus on defence this season”
“I think you’re seeing guys really fronting up physically and I think that is creating a better energy around the field”
“When you have someone like Conor Oliver shooting out of line and putting in a really big hit which has a flow on effect to the next person”
“Its a lot of fun to play when you are out there but I also feel like its a lot of fun to watch as well”
Connacht had a tough start to the season with three away games on the trot to Ulster, Stormers and Bulls, losing all three but since returning home have got two wins from three. Jarrad spoke about the difference made over the last few games.
“I think defensively we’ve been very good and in patches we’ve been good in attack”
“Earlier on in the season we talked about individual errors letting us down but we are now seeing more passes sticking and being able to build phases”
“The big thing now is discipline”
“I think we are trying to show so much intent that we are giving away a few too many penalties”
One of the big major improvements in Connacht’s game over the last three matches played has been their set piece. Jarrad spoke about the work and detail the coaches give the side.
“Having Cullie and Dewald who are very particular in what they want around the set piece and that contact area leaves no margin for error”
“Things happen and errors occur so not everything goes as planned but its clear what went wrong because the two guys are clear with their messaging of what they want from us”
“As a forward pack we don’t feel we’ve put in a proper dominant display just yet so we feel there is still plenty more growth with us”
Attention now turns to Ospreys, both teams will be missing their international stars but the contest will still be just as tough.
“This week is going to be huge for us to win” said Butler
“If we can come away with a win on Saturday it will finish this block of games on a real positive one for us”
“We know how good Ospreys are so again the challenge is massive but we are really looking forward to”