Scarlets 18

Connacht 10

Connacht suffered a disappointing eight point loss to the Scarlets in the opening game of the Guinness Pro14 season. As the heavy rain poured down in Parc y Scarlets it was always going to be difficult for Connacht to eat into the home side’s lead that was constant when they scored the first try of the game.

Connacht had all the territory in the opening ten minutes and while Scarlets did muster two attacks, the Connacht defence were outstanding in defending their line.

The game continued to ebb and flow with Connacht dominating the territory but on 20 minutes, Scarlets only visit into the 22 resulted in a try in the corner which they failed to convert.

For large parts of the game this was a contest that was played between the two 22s.However it was scarlets accuracy when they did attack that proved the difference between the sides. After 33 minutes, Connacht failure to clear their lines gave Scarlets the opportunity to run in under the posts and when they landed the resulting conversion,  Scarlets were 12 – 0 to the good.

Conor Fitzgerald did respond for Connacht with a penalty to reduce the home side’s lead to nine at the break.

The Scarlets drew first blood again in the second half when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. The successful kick brought the Scarlets back into a twelve point lead and it went from bad to worse as Tom Daly was sent to the bin.

During the numerical disadvantage however, Connacht took the initiative and Eoghan Masterson was the one to get over as Connacht had been banging on the door as the Scarlets gave away a succession of penalties. Fitzgerald’s successful conversion reduced the deficit back to five points as the game entered the final quarter.

As the torrential rain poured down, Scarlets added a penalty to close their account on 62 minutes and that score proved enough to secure the eight point lead.

A disappointing result for Connacht as they leave Wales with no points from their conference rivals. Next up is a home tie against Italian side Benetton on Saturday the 5th of October.

Connacht scorers – Conor Fitzgerald 1 pen, 1 conversion. Eoghan Masterson try.

Tiernan O’Halloran, Stephen Fitzgerald, Kyle Godwin, Tom Daly, Matt Healy, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade (Kieran Marmion), (1-8) Paddy McAllister (Denis Buckley), Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a (Eoin McKeon then replaced by Ultan Dillane), Jarrad Butler.

The Connacht management team have released the latest squad update in advance of tomorrow evening’s friendly away to Bristol Bears.

 

Hooker:
Tom McCartney (ankle) and Jonny Murphy (chest) are progressing well with their respective injuries and will integrate into team training next week.

Lock:
Peter Claffey has returned to full training this week following his calf injury.

Gavin Thornbury is progressing well with his shoulder injury sustained in pre-season and will integrate into team training next week.

Back Row:
Robin Copeland has returned to full training this week following his hip injury.

Jarrad Butler (chest), Eoin McKeon (shoulder) and Sean O’Brien (calf) are all being managed this week by the medical and performance team for minor knocks.

Eoghan Masterson has undergone surgery for the thumb injury he sustained in the Brive pre-season fixture and will be out of action until October.

Outhalf:
David Horwitz is undergoing rehabilitation for a hamstring injury and will look to return to training shortly.

Centre:
Peter Robb is managing a neck injury and will partake in light training this week under the supervision of the medical team.

The starting XV to face Bristol Bears will be named later today (Thursday).

The Connacht management team have released the following squad update following last week’s pre-season friendly away to Brive.

 

Hooker:
Tom McCartney sustained a recent ankle injury in training and is progressing well with a return to training planned for early September.

Jonny Murphy sustained a rib injury in the game versus Brive last week and his progress will be monitored by the medical team this week.

 

Lock:
Peter Claffey sustained a calf injury in preseason and is due to return to training in early September.

Gavin Thornbury sustained a shoulder injury in preseason and is due to return to full training in early September.

 

Back Row:
Robin Copeland sustained a recent hip injury in training and is currently undergoing rehabilitation with the medical and fitness team with a planned return in the coming weeks.

Eoghan Masterson sustained a hand injury in the game versus Brive last week and will undergo surgery this week with his return date to be confirmed post surgery.

 

The Connacht starting XV to take on Wasps at Dubarry Park, Athlone this Saturday (k/o 3pm) will be named later today.

Connacht Rugby are delighted to announce that back row Eoghan Masterson has signed a two-year extension to his contract to take him up to the end of the 2019-20 season. The 24 year old has made almost 60 appearances for the province including 22 this season. Masterson also captained Connacht for the first time in the Challenge Cup clash at home to Worcester Warriors earlier in October.

Commenting on the signing, Connacht Head Coach, Kieran Keane said: “We are delighted that Eoghan has committed to Connacht for another two seasons. Eoghan is a determined young man who has come through the Connacht Academy system and is now a natural leader among the group. I have no doubt he will continue to be an important player for us in the years ahead.”

Following his contract extension, Eoghan Masterson said: “I’m absolutely delighted to extend my contract with Connacht. I am very proud of my connections with the west of Ireland and very grateful to have come through the academy system in Connacht. It was a massive honour to Captain the province on a number of occasions this season and I am determined to be part of further success here in the coming seasons.”

Connacht Head Coach Kieran Keane has made three changes to his starting XV to face Brive in the European Challenge Cup, in the Sportsground on Saturday (K.O. 3pm). Connacht secured a bonus point win last weekend with a 38 – 31 win away to the French Top14 side.

Darragh Leader comes into the side at full back, James Connolly is in at openside and James Mitchell makes his first start for the province at scrum half. Connacht sit on top of Pool 5 after three rounds and a win at home to Brive would put them in an excellent position to qualify for a home Quarter Final.

Sligo native and Academy player Cillian Gallagher is retained in the starting line up at blindside after making his first start last weekend. For the second time this season, Eoghan Masterson is set to the captain the side from number 8.

There is a huge amount of experience on the bench with Tom McCartney, John Muldoon, Kieran Marmion and Tiernan O’Halloran named among the replacements.

In Brive last weekend the home side got off to the best possible, scoring three tries and leading by 16 points after 28 minutes but by half time Connacht were back in the game with tries from Ultan Dillane and Kieran Marmion. In advance of the return leg, Connacht Backs Coach Nigel Carolan says that Connacht need to be more consistent over the 80 minutes. “We are hoping to use the win over Brive last weekend to kick us off to another good run of form. We have some big games coming up and maintaining a level of consistency is what we are aiming to achieve. We can’t afford to be complacent though. We haven’t played at home in a few weeks, so the lads are looking forward to being back out in front of a festive home crowd and producing the performance that can achieve a good result.

 

#BRIvCON

Kick-off 3pm:

(15-9) Darragh Leader, Cian Kelleher, Pita Ahki, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, James Mitchell,
(1-8) Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux, Cillian Gallagher, James Connolly, Eoghan Masterson (Capt)

Replacements (16-23): Tom McCartney, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, James Cannon, John Muldoon, Kieran Marmion, Tom Farrell, Tiernan O’Halloran.

 

 

 

 

Connacht v Worcester Warriors – Saturday 21st Oct, 15:00. Gates open at 13:30 – tickets still available

This is our 5th meeting with Worcester Warriors since 2005 – we have won 3 out of the last 4.

Today’s game see’s Eoghan Masterson set to captain Connacht for the first time having been involved in all games so far this season. Full team details here.

Hear Eoghan’s thoughts on this new milestone in his career.

Matt Healy also starts today after becoming Connacht’s top try scorer in European competition last weekend. He joined Jimmy Duffy in the pre-match press conference this week. Watch the build-up below.

Eoghan Masterson is set to captain Connacht in their Challenge Cup game against Worcester in the Sportsground tomorrow (3pm). The 24-year-old takes his place at number 8 in a back row that includes Eoin McKeon at blindside and James Connolly at openside.

There is also a new-look front row from the team that started the round one bonus point win away to Oyonnax. Denis Buckley comes in at loosehead and Dave Heffernan and Dominic Robertson-McCoy are included at hooker and tighthead respectively.  In the backs, Bundee Aki returns to the centre alongside Eoin Griffin in the centre. Tiernan O’Halloran is also back in the side at full back after a brief injury.

Connacht’s record try scorer in European competition Matt Healy, who scored two tries in the opening round, is included in the starting XV.

He spoke to reporters about the challenge that Connacht face tomorrow: “We had a great travelling support last week in Geneva and we were delighted with the bonus point win. So, we had a review of the Oyonnax game and very quickly moved on and started focusing on Worcester. We are delighted to be back in the Sportsground in front of our home support. Worcester will bring a big challenge, they had a good win last week and, like ourselves, will be looking to gain a bit of momentum this weekend.”

#CONvWOR

Kick-off 3.00pm:
(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Darragh Leader, Bundee Aki, Eoin Griffin, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Quinn Roux, James Cannon, Eoin McKeon, James Connolly, Eoghan Masterson (Capt)

Replacements (16-23): Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, Cillian Gallagher, Jarrad Butler, Kieran Marmion, Craig Ronaldson, Cian Kelleher.

 

Tickets are still available for the game here.

Having recovered from a severe knee injury last season, Eoghan Masterson has made a strong start to the season and spoke to the media this week about his return to full fitness and tonight’s away clash against Scarlets (7.35pm, live on BBC Wales).

Connacht Head Coach Kieran Keane has made three changes to his starting XV to face Brive in the European Challenge Cup, in the Sportsground on Saturday (K.O. 3pm). Connacht secured a bonus point win last weekend with a 38 – 31 win away to the French Top14 side.

Darragh Leader comes into the side at full back, James Connolly is in at openside and James Mitchell makes his first start for the province at scrum half. Connacht sit on top of Pool 5 after three rounds and a win at home to Brive would put them in an excellent position to qualify for a home Quarter Final.

Sligo native and Academy player Cillian Gallagher is retained in the starting line up at blindside after making his first start last weekend. For the second time this season, Eoghan Masterson is set to the captain the side from number 8.

There is a huge amount of experience on the bench with Tom McCartney, John Muldoon, Kieran Marmion and Tiernan O’Halloran named among the replacements.

In Brive last weekend the home side got off to the best possible, scoring three tries and leading by 16 points after 28 minutes but by half time Connacht were back in the game with tries from Ultan Dillane and Kieran Marmion. In advance of the return leg, Connacht Backs Coach Nigel Carolan says that Connacht need to be more consistent over the 80 minutes. “We are hoping to use the win over Brive last weekend to kick us off to another good run of form. We have some big games coming up and maintaining a level of consistency is what we are aiming to achieve. We can’t afford to be complacent though. We haven’t played at home in a few weeks, so the lads are looking forward to being back out in front of a festive home crowd and producing the performance that can achieve a good result.

 

#BRIvCON

Kick-off 3pm:

(15-9) Darragh Leader, Cian Kelleher, Pita Ahki, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, James Mitchell, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux, Cillian Gallagher, James Connolly, Eoghan Masterson (Capt)

Replacements (16-23): Tom McCartney, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, James Cannon, John Muldoon, Kieran Marmion, Tom Farrell, Tiernan O’Halloran.

The Connacht Eagles will play Cornish Pirates on Saturday (2pm) in their final British & Irish Cup game this season. Head coach Mossy Lawler has named his side for the trip to Cornwall,making eight changes from the starting XV that lined out last week.

Eoghan Masterson makes a welcome return to the field,starting in an all-changed back row with Marc Kelly and James Connolly. This is the first game back for 23-year-old Masterson in almost a year having recovered from a significant knee injury sustained while on PRO12 duty last February.

Also returning from long term injury is Academy prop Jamie Dever who will start in the front row for his first game in 26 months while Ireland U20’s lock Peter Claffey is named on the bench having last played 10 months ago.

There are further changes to the pack with senior hooker Shane Delahunt adding his experience up front while Academy lock Cian Romaine joins captain Danny Qualter in the second row.

Academy duo Stephen Kerins and Ed O’Keeffe are the only changes to a youthful backline.

Eagles’ head coach Mossy Lawler commented ahead of the final pool fixture:

“It’s great to see some players coming back from long-term injury and getting a chance to play before we conclude our B&I campaign.

“Naturally we are not happy with our results in the competition this season but we do see the value in testing our young players in high pressure games and against quality opposition. It’s all part of their development and tomorrow’s game will be another big challenge and learning experience for them. Of course,we will be hoping to put in a winning performance to sign off our B&I Cup season.”

Connacht Eagles team to face Cornish Pirates,Mennaye Field Penzance,Sat January 21st,2pm

(Connacht senior caps and affiliated club in brackets)

15 Matthew Byrne (Galwegians RFC)
14 Ed O’Keeffe (Galwegians RFC)
13 Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians RFC)
12 Kieran Joyce (Malone RFC)
11 Adam Leavy  (Galwegians RFC)
10 Luke Carty (Buccaneers RFC)
9 Stephen Kerins (Corinthians RFC)

1 Jamie Dever (Corinthians RFC)
2 Shane Delahunt (Buccaneers RFC) (23)
3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy (Galwegians RFC) (4)
4 Cian Romaine (Buccaneers RFC)
5 Danny Qualter (Buccaneers RFC) (14) (captain)
6 Marc Kelly (Galwegians RFC)
7 James Connolly (Corinthians RFC) (22)
8 Eoghan Masterson (Corinthians RFC) (34)

REPLACEMENTS

16 Jack Dinneen (Galwegians RFC) (2)
17 Saba Meunargia (Buccaneers RFC) (2)
18 Peter Claffey (Galwegians RFC)
19 Rory Moloney (Buccaneers RFC)
20 Conor Lowndes (Galwegians RFC)
21 Morgan Codyre (Galwegians RFC)
22 Joe Murphy (Corinthians RFC)

Cornish Pirates v Connacht Eagles
Saturday January 21st 2017
Mennaye Field Penzance
Kick off 2pm

 

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