There are changes in both flanker positions for tomorrow’s Vodafone Women’s Championship clash with Munster at The Sportsground (k/o 1pm).

Karly Tierney and Kayla Waldron start at blindside and openside flanker respectively, with the rest of the starting XV unchanged from the side that beat Ulster in Belfast last week.

Munster, Leinster and Connacht can all win the Championship heading into the final day – though Munster are best placed needing only a losing bonus point.

Kick-off is at 1pm with tickets on sale HERE, while Season Ticket holders have free entry.

CONNACHT WOMEN MATCHDAY SQUAD VS MUNSTER WOMEN
Saturday 21st January, 1pm @ The Sportsground

15. Mairead Coyne
14. Ava Ryder
13. Orla Dixon
12. Shannon Touhey
11. Clara Barrett
10. Nicole Fowley
9. Mary Healy (C)
1. Grainne O’Loughlin
2. Lily Brady
3. Laura Feely
4. Fiona Scally
5. Eva McCormack
6. Karly Tierney
7. Karla Waldron
8. Grace Browne Moran

16. Emily Gavin
17. Niamh O’Grady
18. Hannah Coen
19. Sonia McDermott
20. Orla Fenton
21. Olivia Haverty
22. Eabha Nic Dhonnacha
23. Mollie Starr

Its Round 2 of the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship and it’s a big one this weekend with a title on the line for both teams to win at The Sportsground.

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

When’s the game?

Kick-off is 1pm on Saturday 21st January.

What’s the state of play so far?

Connacht come into the game after last Saturday’s win over Ulster 25-19 in Kingspan Stadium with a chance of winning this years Championship. Score difference will play a part on Saturday if Connacht can get a bonus point win.

Munster are two wins from two after wins over Ulster and Leinster.

How’s our recent record against them?

  • Mun 31-7 Con
  • Con 6-27 Mun
  • Mun 17-20 Con

How will the two teams line up?

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

How do I get tickets?

Tickets available HERE

What channel is it on?

TV viewing on TG4.

Its Round 2 of the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship this weekend as Connacht travel to Belfast to take on Ulster at Kingspan Stadium.

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

When’s the game?

Kick-off is 2.30pm on Saturday 14th January.

What’s the state of play so far?

Connacht come into the game after last Saturday’s defeat to Leinster at Energia Park.

Ulster suffered a 34-0 defeat to Munster at the weekend down in Musgrave Park.

How’s our recent record against them?

Our last meeting with Ulster was September 2021 at The Sportsground which ended 12-12.

  • Con 12-12 Uls
  • Uls 19-20 Con
  • Con 31-17 Uls

How will the two teams line up?

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

How do I get tickets?

Tickets available through Ulster Rugby.

What channel is it on?

TV viewing on TG4 and BBC NI.

Head Coach Barry Ruane and his management team have released their squad for this weekends Interpro fixture vs Ulster Rugby, Saturday May 7th, at Lurgan RFC (k/o 2.30pm)

 

Connacht Junior match day squad v Ulster:

 

15. Henry O’Toole – Connemara RFC

14. Alan Masterson – Westport RFC *

13. Eoghan Coyle – Creggs RFC

12. Ian Heanue – Connemara RFC

11. Ross Murphy Sweeney – Buccaneers RFC

10. Shane Purcell – Creggs RFC

9. Sam Walsh – Westport RFC

1. Aidan Leech – Creggs RFC

2. Hiram Wood Hennessy – Corinthians RFC

3. Craig Hansberry – Ballinrobe RFC

4. TJ Berry – Connemara RFC

5. Niall Staunton – Connemara RFC

6. Paul Lee – Connemara RFC

7. Brian Ruane – Tuam RFC

8. Brian Diffley – Creggs RFC (captain)

 

Replacements:

16. Sean Tonra – Castlebar RFC

17. Ian Staunton – Connemara RFC

18. Niall Carney – Tuam RFC

19. Marty Cummins – Dunmore RFC

20. Ryan O’Meara – Buccaneers RFC

21. Graham Lynch – Buccaneers RFC *

22. Mark Purcell – Creggs RFC

23. Conor Burns – Dunmore RFC

24. Fergus Galvin – Buccaneers RFC

 

*First Cap

 

Management:

Sean Higgins and Declan Slattery – Managers

Barry Ruane – Head Coach

Alan Bane – Forwards Coach

Eddie Walsh – Backs Coach

Damien Burke – Physio

Head Coach Barry Ruane and his management team have released their squad for this weekends Interpro fixture vs Leinster Rugby, Saturday April 30th, at Buccaneers RFC (k/o 2.30pm)

 

There are 9 Connacht Clubs represented in this weekends squad; we would like to wish the players & management the very best of luck for Saturday, a great honour to all. Creggs Rfc’s Brian Diffley will Captain the side.

 

Number/Name/Club

15. Henry O’Toole – Connemara RFC

14. Marty Connelly – Connemara RFC

13. Ian Heanue – Connemara RFC

12. Mark Purcell – Creggs RFC

11. Ross Murphy Sweeney – Buccaneers RFC

10. Shane Purcell – Creggs RFC

9. Aodha Hession – Creggs RFC

1. A.Leech – Creggs RFC

2. Hiram Wood Hennessy – Corinthians RFC

3. Craig Hansberry – Ballinrobe RFC

4. Fergus Galvin- Buccaneers RFC

5. Niall Staunton – Connemara RFC

6. Brian Diffley – Creggs RFC

7. Brian Ruane – Tuam RFC

8. TJ Berry – Connemara RFC

 

Replacements
16. Sean Tonra – Castlebar RFC

17. Ian Staunton – Connemara RFC

18. Sean O’Connell – Buccaneers RFC

19. Alan Finnerty – Tuam RFC

20. Paul Lee – Connemara RFC

21. Sam Walsh – Westport RFC

22. Eoghan Coyle * – Creggs RFC

23. Conor Burns * – Dunmore RFC

24. Stephen Loftus – Westport RFC

25. Niall Carney – Tuam RFC

 

Management

Sean Higgins & Declan Slattery (Managers)

Barry Ruane (Head coach)

Alan Bane (Forwards Coach)

Eddie Walsh (Backs Coach)

Damien Burke (Physio)

 

Fly-half Jack Carty says that Connacht will take learnings from last weekend’s home defeat to The Dragons and will apply them to the rest of their season, starting with Saturday’s United Rugby Championship Interpro versus Munster at Thomond Park. 

 

Despite leading at halftime, the Westerners eventually lost 35-22 to the Welshmen in last Saturday’s 5:15 PM kick-off at the Sportsground. 

 

However, the Irish international is confident that Connacht can bounce back at a venue where they won last season, but admits it will be an arduous task against their 100% winning record boasting southern rivals. 

 

“We spoke about backing up a big performance with another one after last week(The Bulls game), but unfortunately we didn’t do that,” the Roscommon native said. 

 

“It was bitterly disappointing and I think there was a couple of things there like if we scored Bladey’s try we go in at halftime with a bigger lead and I think it changes the dynamic a small bit. 

 

‘We were a bit flat throughout the game and it was a bit disappointing because we had a good week, and again we didn’t back it up how we wanted to.”

 

“It usually comes down to an error, or a piece of brilliance, if you think about the game last year,” Carty said of the generally tight encounters between Munster and Connacht. 

 

“Mike Haley, with a piece of brilliance from him, fielded a high ball and ended up scoring. We ended up getting a yellow card at a pivotal point and that was the turning of the game. 

 

“And down there in Thomond, we kind of grinded it out and held them out in the end. Usually, they’re one score games and it comes down to those finer things, like discipline, staying in the fight and sticking to what our game will be. When we play against Munster, it’s always a dog fight and always those one or two little pivotal things that are the making or the breaking of the game.”

 

Carty, 29, referenced Connacht’s win against The Bulls — a team with a similar size and athletic profile to Munster — as the kind of standard the Westerners will need to hit once again if they are to win the upcoming interprovincial. 

 

“Yeah, I think so. That’s the benchmark, defensively and in an attack sense, that everything from that point on would be that or more. Munster have totally changed the way they have played in certain facets of the game as well. 

 

“It will be a bit different from how they’ve been previously. They are obviously incredibly good in the air, and they have changed in how they look to shift the ball into the wider edges and in terms of where their players are going in terms of kick receipts. 

 

“It should be really interesting and it’s always a tight game when you go down there and it’s going to come down to the top two inches.”

 

Meanwhile, senior attack coach Pete Wilkins says Connacht are on track to improve, despite last weekend’s reversal to the Dragons. 

 

The Englishman, who moved from his defensive coaching berth to senior attack coach role this summer, said that there are positives for the Westerners to take — even in defeat — and that progress towards an enhanced style of play is clear for the coaching staff to see. 

 

And Wilkins is confident that squad will move forwards and adapt further to their new style of play and overall strategy. 

 

“I think that any time you’re going to change the way you play the game — particularly in an overall identity — it’s not going to be done in one pre-season, in one or two or three games,” Wilkins said. 

 

“If you can start to see a real semblance of that identity come together in the middle of that first season, I think that’s a good outcome. That said, you need to see key markers along the way. On a game-by-game basis, you want to see those aspects of your identity growing as you go, you don’t just wait six months and be patient, you need to see that building and then see that final product halfway through the season. 

 

“In that sense, I’m happy with how we’re tracking and every game gives us the opportunity to learn where we’re at and how we can fix things.”

 

“Unfortunately, sometimes you have to go through that pain and learn those lessons by reviewing it. But what you don’t want to see is that being repeated week by week, you want to see growth. We’re on track, we’re on the right track. There are some difficult lessons out of a defeat like that but we take the lessons and we will move forwards.”

Connacht Eagles 19-22 Munster A

The Connacht Eagles were narrowly defeated by their Munster counterparts in a keenly contested interprovincial clash at the Sportsground today.

Tries from Conor Oliver, Diarmuid Kilgannen and Jack Aungier saw the hosts establish a lead with a quarter of the game remaining, but a late Diarmuid Barron try saw the visitors claim the win in the first professional game to take place outside of Dublin in six months.

There was no signs of rust from either side — despite the lack of game time — in the early proceedings and it was Connacht who struck first blood in the glorious Galway sunshine.

Captain Oliver, against his former club, was the beneficiary of a move started by Jonny Murphy. The hooker made big head way into Munster territory with a hard carry and, after a few phases, Kilgannen spun the ball to the openside to dive over.

The conversion was wide, but the hosts were worthy of their lead.

Munster weren’t long in responding, however, and fly-half Ben Healy ran in for a brilliant solo try which he converted himself to give the visitors a 7-5 lead.

With the winds in their sails, the Southerners extended their lead further when Barron — the former Irish U20’s hooker — picked from the base of a powerful rolling maul to touch down. Healy converted with aplomb to stretch Munster’s lead even further to 14-5.

The first half was proving to be a try laden affair and it was Connacht’s turn to next cross the white wash. Quick thinking from scrum-half Stephen Kerins’ saw the Sligoman run a penalty and establish the Eagles field position deep in Munster territory.

After phases of pressure, the ball was recycled wide to lock Niall Murray and the Roscommon native’s pass found Kilgannen and the winger touched down tight to the left hand touchline. Despite the narrow angle, Conor Dean slotted a brilliant conversion.

Munster would add the final score of a fiercely competitive half with Healy’s penalty taking the half time score to 17-12 to the visitors.

There was no let up in intensity in the second half, even with a raft of changes from both teams.

Aungier, who replaced Conor Kenny at tight-head, made an instant impact when he picked the ball off the back of a surging rolling maul and dove over from close range. Dean once again made no mistake with the conversion and the Eagles established a deserved 19-17 lead.

Munster continued to probe in search of a win and they eventually broke Connacht’s resolve — which had stoutly denied the visitors — with Barron completing his brace with a powerful burst from close range seeing him burrow over the line.

The conversion drifted wide, but Munster held on to seal the victory.

The Eagles will be disappointed to lose but there are ample positives for the players and the coaching staff to take into the season.

Connacht Eagles team:
(15-9)
John Porch; Colm de Buitlear, Sam Arnold, Tom Daly Diarmuid Kilgannen; Conor Dean, Stephen Kerins.

(8-1) Sean Masterson, Conor Oliver(C), Oisin McCormack; Niall Murray, Cian Prendergast; Conor Kenny, Jonny Murphy, Jordan Duggan

Replacements:
16. Dylan Tierney-Martin
17. Matthew Burke
18. Jack Aungier
19. Darragh Murray
20. Joshua Dunne
21. Colm Reilly
22. Cathal Forde
23. Shane Jennings
24. Oran McNulty
25. Peter Sullivan

 

Live Stream of Connacht Eagles vs Munster ‘A’ from The Sportsground.
Saturday 19th September – K/O 2pm

First Half

 

Second Half

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