Pete Wilkins: Ulster preview

31 October 2023

Pete Wilkins: Ulster preview

This Saturday's see's the first interprovinical derby of the season take place at The Sportsground as Connacht welcome Ulster to Galway for Round 3 of the BKT United Rugby Championship. (7.35pm k/o)

Speaking ahead of the game was Connacht Head Coach Pete Wilkins who is expecting another tough encounter against the Ulster men.

"Any game against Ulster comes with enormous edge, a lot of intensity and physical edge like all interpros do"

"The Connacht Ulster encounters have been particularly exciting over the last few seasons"

"The result last season when we beat them in the quarter-final will add fuel to their fire"

"We're expecting them to come all fired up"

"It will be a really good challenge, we stepped up from Ospreys last Saturday against Glasgow but again we will need to step it up for this Saturday"

The opening two games have seen Connacht score 68 points with seven tries but they have also conceded 52 points. Asked if he has concerns over the defence to date, Pete said he is happy with how all is going in that department.

"We have no concerns around the defence"

"The good thing for us at this stage of the season is that we have had some really good defensive sets in games"

"Now it is all about polishing that and making sure we don't give teams access points to get 24 points or more"

"We're pleased with how it is tracking but all areas of our games will have to grow over the coming weeks and months"

Last Saturday against Glasgow saw Cathal Forde produce another fine performance at inside centre where he picked up the URC Player of the Match award. Pete spoke about the Galway man and how he continues to develop his game.

"Cathal continued to improve throughout the pre-season period" 

"He has such good lines that he runs into where he finds the weak point of a defender"

"With his athleticism and size he has the abaility to break tackles"

"He's only going to get better in attack and defence with the experience of playing more games"

"He works very hard at all aspects of his game, inlcuding his kicking"