Connacht are back home this Saturday for Round 9 of the BKT United Rugby Championship as Benetton come to The Sportsground, k/o 3.15pm.

A big game for both sides and one Connacht will be aiming to win after the disappointment of last weekend’s defeat in Limerick.

Speaking ahead of the game was Finlay Bealham who felt frustrated leaving Thomond Park on Saturday night.

“We had a few tough words earlier in the week regards Saturday’s game in Thomond Park”

“Lads got things off their chest with some honest conversations that were needed to be honest”

“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot particularly with our discipline and that needs to improve so much”

While frustrated with the result and how a few things went, the Connacht forwards once again put in a powerful display.

“We got a good few penalties and speaking to Denis Buckley and the rest of the lads after we were happy with things like the scrum and so on”

“Yeah we have to be hard on ourselves and look and where we can improve but at the same time you have to see what you’re doing right and doing well”

“We did a lot of good stuff on Saturday but we need to clean up our whole game as bits and parts to a game just aren’t enough”

The Irish international has been in the form of his life this season and is enjoying every minute of it.

“I feel with age I’ve got a better experience on how to prepare myself for games”

“I’m still striving to improve my game and bring the lads around me to a better level”

“I just feel a lot more in control with what I’m doing and that comes from preparation”

This Saturday Benetton will bring a physical challenge up front which Finlay is looking forward to.

“They’ve got international forwards so we’re coming up against top players here”

“Italian rugby is on the up which is great for the game and you can see Benetton are a big part of that”

“They’ve been going well this season so we know if we aren’t at it from the first minute we could be in for a tough day”

“As a group we’re extremely confident coming into this game and having the home support just adds to that”

“It’s been over a month I think since we last played at home so it will be good to be back and hopefully put on the show we know we can deliver”

Tickets for Saturday’s game are available HERE

This Saturday Connacht Rugby welcome Benetton Rugby to The Sportsground. For Connacht, its a first home game since late October and one they will be aiming to win.

Head coach Pete Wilkins spoke to media before the game where he was first asked about last weekend’s defeat to Munster.

“Saturday wasn’t good enough and the scoreline reflects that”

“I’ve got mixed feelings from it, in the first half we put ourselves in contention but I don’t think Munster should have had ten points if we had been on our game as effectively as we should have been and in the second half I feel we gave them too many blocks of momentum”

“The key stat for me on Saturday was we got into their 22 six times and they got access to our 22 twelve times”

“Going into the game we were fairly even when it came to that stat per game”

The Connacht set piece has been very impressive so far this year and while Pete is happy with how that area is going he still believes there’s room for improvement.

“The forwards are showing great appetite for work and they have been top class but as a unit they know they haven’t reached their best yet which excites me so much”

“Lads are coming into training each day looking at specific details as to where they can improve and get the best out of each other”

“As coaches we’re seeing real competition in our scrum sessions, the lads are really pushing each other which is what’s needed to reach the level we want”

Benetton make their way to Galway on Saturday and the Italian side have had a decent season to date so Pete is expecting a massive challenge and one that should excite the players.

“Its an interesting challenge because they are pretty low in the rankings for possession, territory and points scored but yet they are very effective on their day and that is down to their goal kicking and taking opportunities when they come”

“If your discipline is poor they will punish you and they have powerful forwards who can cause damage”

“For us, we need to be effective when we have the ball and be clinical”

The Connacht team for Saturday will be named on Friday.

Tickets for the game are available HERE

Its round 9 of the BKT United Rugby Championship as Connacht welcome Benetton to The Sportsground this Saturday. 

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s game.

When’s the game?

Kick-off at is at 3.15pm on Saturday 3rd December.

What’s the state of play so far?

Connacht began block two of the BKT URC season away to Munster in a game that ended in defeat for Andy Friend’s side, 24-17.

Benetton come to Galway having beaten Edinburgh at home on Saturday, 24-17.

How’s our recent record against them?

Our recent record against the Munster over the last five games have been as follows,

  • Ben 17-21 Con
  • Ben 17-19 Con
  • Con 31-14 Ben
  • Con 41-5 Ben
  • Con 29-14 Ben

How will the two teams line up?

The Connacht management team will announce their squad at 12pm on Friday when it will be named on and the Connacht Rugby social channels.

How do I get tickets?

Tickets are available HERE

What channel is it on?

RTE 1 and Viaplay (formerly Premier Sports) will have live TV coverage while Galway Bay FM have live radio commentary.

This Saturday Connacht make the short trip down to Limerick as they take on Munster in Round 8 of the United Rugby Championship, kick-off at Thomond Park is 7:35pm.

It’s the first game for Connacht since beating Ospreys on October 29th in Swansea due to the International break. Speaking to media ahead of the game was Connacht loose-head prop, Denis Buckley. The Roscommon native was asked what the players have been up to during the three week spell.

“We got a week off after the Ospreys game so most of the lads that weren’t involved with Ireland got away from the Sportsground for a few days”

“We came back and did a bit of an install for two days where as last week the training really ramped up”

“The coaches got to install a lot of things at a higher tempo and higher intensity than we would normally get during these weeks with no games”

“Last week was very tough as it was a combination of a pre-season week and rugby install week with install being a case of enforcing our key principles rather than new ideas”

“On a normal game week we don’t get a lot of chances to do that sort of stuff as a lot of time is spent on analysis and going through our play for the week”

We are two months into the new artificial surface at The Sportsground and Denis feels the players have adapted well to it.

“We’ve all adapted to it very well and its a great surface to play on”

“I know in the past when we’ve played on 4G pitches you’d always have to change your studs but in fairness to this pitch that’s not the case”

Connacht head down to Munster this weekend having already beating the Southern province at home, Denis knows the challenge that awaits.

“We have a block of two games in the URC and then go into Europe but we haven’t looked past this match on Saturday”

“Interpro games are always good games and the ones you want to play in”

“We know this is going to be a tough challenge going down to Thomond Park but one we’re all excited for”

“We know they are targeting this game but we’re ready and just want to get out there Saturday night to show what we can do”

Last week Andy Friend announced this will be his final season with Connacht Rugby. Ahead of this Saturday’s massive Interprovincial derby away to Munster in the BKT United Rugby Championship, the Connacht Director of Rugby spoke to media about calling time on his stay out West.

“It’s something me and Willie Ruane (Connacht CEO) have been aware of and others since I signed that last contract”

“Its good to get it out there and have the clarity there for everybody but it doesn’t change my focus or desire to hopefully win as many games as we can between now and the end of the season”

Between now and the 6 Nations, block two sees Connacht play ten games in-a-row in what will be a crucial period for the men in green regards URC and Europe. The last three weeks saw the International sides take over giving Andy, the coaches and players a chance to recharge ahead of this next block.

“Everyone had ten days off after the Ospreys game which I think was needed for coaches and players”

“Now that we have everyone back its all eyes on Munster”

“This is an important ten week block for us”

“We are all very aware of the first block of games we had but I think we’re well positioned for these games going forward”

One of the big questioned asked after coming back from the International break was if Connacht’s Irish players would be available this week?

“We have our Irish players available” said Andy

“From an IRFU point of view, those Irish players are allowed play seven of the next nine games before the 6 Nations kicks off”

November was a good one for Andy Farrell and his team and a lot of impressive displays from the Connacht players involved which Andy Friend spoke about.

“That last penalty which Ross Byrne kicked came from a scrum which Finlay (Bealham) got good dominance and he was heavily involved in winning that penalty”

“I thought all three of the boys (Bundee, Finlay and Mack) played well against Australia and great to see Cian Prendergast get his first cap during that block”

“It was also great to see Caolin Blade, Gavin Thornbury and Dave Heffernan in those camps as well”

Saturday see’s Connacht make the trip to Thomond Park where Munster await, Andy will be hoping his side get off to a good start in this window but knows the challenge that’s coming.

“Yeah its an important game but every game is”

“Munster away at Thomond Park is never an easy task but I thought we were close last year and the previous year we won there”

“You can’t just rock up to Thomond and think you’re going to win, you’ve got to work your backside off and bring an element of physicality along with accuracy in what you are doing”

The Connacht team for Saturday’s game will be named this Friday.

On the day of Jarrad Butler’s 100th cap and debuts for Adam Byrne and Darragh Murray, Connacht leave Swansea beating Ospreys 22-19.

A very entertaining first half, but not for the first time this season Connacht got off to a poor start when Ospreys took an early lead. Playing off scraps Ospreys pounced on the opportunity that came their way which led to Huw Sutton crossing over after two minutes of play.

Things didn’t get much better for Connacht who started the game very scrappy and once again giving the Ospreys another soft try to widen their lead to 12 after eight minutes. Scrum half Morgan-Williams with the try.

Ospreys went down to 14 after Ethan Roots was shown a yellow for a dangerous late tackle on Gavin Thornbury.

Playing with an extra man Connacht couldn’t capitalise on the advantage. Plenty of opportunities created with a number of entries into the Ospreys 22 including a Jack Aungier disallowed try, the prop forward who was held up over the line in the 20th minute. From the resulting drop kick, Ospreys went straight down the other end with a defensive line-out to Connacht in their own 22.

26 minutes on the clock and Roscommon man Darragh Murray made his Connacht debut, a player you no doubt will be seeing more of.

With less than ten minutes to go Connacht found their feet when Alex Wootton got their first try of the game. This score all started when John Porch managed to grab a ball most players wouldn’t have been able to. Tiernan O’Halloran with the offload which was behind the Connacht winger, but no bother to Porch who somehow managed to collect it while in full flight. Connacht then went through a few phases before Jack Carty sent a lovely pass to the right which Wootton collected before flying over.

Five minutes later, Caolin Blade crossed over after great work by centre partnership David Hawkshaw and Tom Farrell with a one two combination of passes. Carty converted and Connacht went in at half time two in front. The half also saw Adam Byrne come on for his debut for the men in green.

Andy Friend’s side got off to the perfect start in the second half when John Porch got the third Connacht try of the game after an Osprey error in the lead up. Porch finishing off after a number of phases in the lead up.

Connacht controlled the majority of the second half with Jack Carty managing the game extremely well. Ospreys though did get another try when Sam Parry got the hosts third try of the game in the 69th minute. The conversion was kicked to make it a three point game.

With the game on the line Connacht held on to make it back-to-back wins in the BKT United Rugby Championship to end this block of games on a high.

Connacht’s next game will be away to Munster at the end of the month.

Its round 7 of the BKT United Rugby Championship as Connacht travel to Wales to take on Ospreys at the Swansea.Com Stadium. 

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s game.

When’s the game?

Kick-off at is at 7.35pm on Saturday 29th October.

What’s the state of play so far?

Connacht make their way to Wales on the back of a bonus point win over Scarlets at home last Friday. The win was Connacht’s second win of the URC this season.

Ospreys are without a win in their last three games. In their opening six games they have won one, drawn two and lost three including a defeat to the Dragons at the weekend.

How’s our recent record against them?

Our recent record against the Ospreys in the URC over the last five games have been as follows,

  • Con 46-18 Osp
  • Con 20-26 Osp
  • Osp 10-20 Con
  • Con 46-5 Osp
  • Osp 22-17 Con

How will the two teams line up?

The Connacht management team will announce their squad at 12pm on Friday when it will be named on and the Connacht Rugby social channels.

How do I get tickets?

Tickets are through Ospreys

What channel is it on?

RTE 2 and Premier Sports will have live TV coverage while Galway Bay FM have live radio commentary.


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