Connacht’s impressive pre-season campaign continued at a warm Dubarry Park on Saturday as the side secured a seven-try victory over Wasps.

Andy Friend’s squad were looking to build on their win over Brive in France last weekend, and they did just that with a display that will no doubt please the new head coach.

With the squad continue an attacking, free-flowing running game of the last 12 months, both the scoreline and manner in which the tries were scored will surely give the team plenty of cause for optimism ahead of their opening Guinness PRO14 game against Glasgow in two weeks time.

The first of those came on the 12th minute mark when a clever move from scrum-half Caolin Blade released Matt Healy down the left-wing, and with the Wasps defence stretched Jack Carty found Tom Farrell who touched down underneath the posts.

Wasps got off the mark with a penalty moments later, but that turned out to be their only score until the last few minutes as Connacht began to dominate.

They gained a deserved 11 point lead at the break when the Farrell and Healy combo struck again – this time Farrell turning creator as broke through the middle and found Connacht’s all-time try scorer waiting on the wing.

The impressive Jack Carty almost made it try number three with the last play of the half, just stepping into touch in the corner as he attempted to gather his own grubber kick.

However that third try was to arrive shortly after the restart when Caolin Blade’s quick tap penalty brought them up to the Wasps 22, and Niyi Adeolokun acted as scrum-half to find Cian Kelleher to score his fourth try in two pre-season games.

The win was all but secured with try number four which was arguably the best of the bunch. Replacement out-half Craig Ronaldson released Adeolokun with a brilliant no-look pass, allowing the winger to use his pace down the middle to score.

Two more tries were to follow in the next 10 minutes – firstly through Rory Scholes out wide and James Mitchell down the centre after good work from the Connacht maul.

Wasps bagged a consolation in the closing minutes, but it was Connacht who had the final say when substitute Conor Carey powered over.

With two wins from two and 76 points on the board it’s been a great start to the Andy Friend era, while there were also impressive performances from new signings Kyle Godwin and Joe Maksymiw.

They’ll be hoping that run of form continues when the squad travel to Bristol for their final pre-season game on Friday night.

The Connacht management team have named their starting line-up for tomorrow’s historic pre-season friendly with Wasps at Dubarry Park, Athlone.

Jarrad Butler leads out the side for the first time since he was named the 2018/19 club captain on Wednesday, while there are starts for new signings Joe Maksymiw and Kyle Godwin.

Makysmiw is joined by James Cannon in the second row, while there’s a front three of Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham.

Butler is joined in the third row by Paul Boyle and Eoin McKeon, while the half-back partnership consists of Caolin Blade and Jake Carty.

Godwin’s midfield partner is Tom Farrell with the back three consisting of Matt Healy, Niyi Adeolokun and Cian Kelleher who is fresh off his hat-trick in last weekend’s friendly win over Brive.

A number of general admission and family tickets remain on sale for the game, however all seated stand tickets are now sold out. Tickets can be purchased here

Connacht Rugby are pleased to announce that Dubarry Park in Athlone will play host to a pre-season friendly between Connacht and English Premiership side Wasps.

The game will be played on Saturday 18th August (kick-off 3pm), and gives fans in Athlone and the Midlands region the perfect opportunity to see Connacht in action on their doorstep.

The fixture also marks a first home game for newly appointed Head Coach Andy Friend ahead of the start of the new season.

Connacht and Wasps have developed a well-contested rivalry in recent years. The sides were paired together in Pool 2 of the European Champions Cup in 2016/17, culminating in a famous win for Connacht at The Sportsground after a last minute try secured a 20-18 victory. Six days previously Wasps came out on top at the Ricoh Arena, while they were also victorious in a pre-season friendly last August.

Tickets will be available early next week with prices starting from only €5 for juniors*, €10 for adults (general admission) and €15 for entry to the unreserved seated stand. A family discount ticket is only €20 and allows two adults and two juniors* entry into the game.

There’s FREE entry to the game for all 2018/19 Season Ticket Members, including those who purchase an Early Bird Season Ticket Membership between now and the end of Early Bird prices on June 30th.

*Those born after 18/8/2002 are eligible for a junior ticket.


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