Connacht v Ulster – Saturday 23rd Dec, 19:35. Gates open at 17:35.

The big festive Interpro is here. Following a good two weeks in European action, we’re back for a triple header of Interprovincial clashes starting tonight at the Sportsground. There are still tickets available in the Bohermore Terrace and there will be some available on the gate. But you save up to 20% by purchasing in advance online.

 

For all the buildup to the big game, visit our match centre where you’ll also be able to follow live stats during the game.

 

How they’ll line up . . .

Connacht

Tiernan O’Halloran returns to the XV having signed a two year extension to his contract yesterday

 

 

View full team details here

 

Ulster
(1-8): Andy Warwick, John Andrew, Wiehahn Herbst, Matthew Dalton, Robbie Diack, Iain Henderson (Capt), Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney;
(9-15): John Cooney, Peter Nelson, Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Louis Ludik, Craig Gilroy, Jacob Stockdale.

Replacements (16-23): Adam McBurney, Schalk van der Merwe, Ross Kane, Matthew Rea, Clive Ross, Paul Marshall, Johnny McPhillips, Rob Lyttle.

 

Matchday at the Sportsground

 

Autography Alley

Stacey Ili and Cormac Brennan  will be down at Autograph Alley to meet fans. Keep your eyes peeled for signs to the locations. The lads will be there from 19:00.

  • Clan Terrace Autograph Alley: Outside the clubhouse entrance.

 

Catch It If You Can

Sitting in the Grant Thornton Seated Stand this Saturday? Be in early and you may be 1 of 10 lucky winners of a Rhino rugby ball thrown into the stand by Connacht Rugby Players Eoin McKeon and Andrew Deegan courtesy of our Official Partners Grant Thornton.

 

 

Ahead of our game against Toyota Cheetahs tomorrow in the Sportsground (K.O. 7:35pm) Backs Coach Nigel Carolan and centre Tom Farrell spoke about the challenge of maintaining the momentum from winning the last three games in a row as we face into a two week break of PRO14 action.

 

It’s promises to be an exciting game with two of the most attacking teams in the competition going head to head. This morning KK announced his matchday 23.

 

Tickets are still available online here.

 

 

Connacht make the trip to Myreside on Friday night where Pat Lam’s men will be looking to rebound from their loss away to Zebre last weekend. An Irish victory on Scottish soil would all but end Edinburgh Rugby’s mathematical hopes of making the Champions Cup play-offs depending on how Cardiff Blues get on against Ulster Rugby.

See the latest squad update here.

Did you know?

  • Connacht have slipped to back-to-back away defeats in the Guinness PRO12 at Glasgow and at Zebre, but did win twice in Scotland last season, over Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield and against Leinster in the Guinness PRO12 final at the same venue.
  • Connacht have won their last three matches against Edinburgh since the Scotsmen were victorious in Galway in January 2015.
  • Edinburgh Rugby have lost their last six Guinness PRO12 matches since losing to Zebre in Parma on 31 December.
  • Edinburgh’s only victory since their return to Myreside was 49-3 over Timisoara in the European Challenge Cup on 20 January.
  •  Connacht have never visited Myreside before.

Overall Guinness PRO12 head to head record: Played 28, Edinburgh won 14, Connacht won 12 and 2 games drawn.

Friday, April 7

Edinburgh v Connacht, Myreside, 7.35pm (Live on TG4 & BBC Alba)
Referee: Dan Jones (WRU, 7th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell (WRU), Lloyd Linton (SRU)
Citing Commissioner: Douglas Hunter (SRU)
TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR)

HEAD TO HEAD – RECENT GUINNESS PRO12 MEETINGS
Date Venue E C Edinburgh scorers Connacht scorers
Sat 15 Feb 14 Sportsground 7 11 Roddy Grant(T) Carl Bezuidenhout(C) Dan Parks(P) Michael Swift(T) Craig Ronaldson(P)
Fri 12 Sep 14 BT Murrayfield 13 14 Cornell du Preez(T) Tom Heathcote(C/2P) Willie Faloon(T) Darragh Leader(3P)
Fri 9 Jan 15 Sportsground 16 13 David Denton(T) Sam Hidalgo-Clyne(C/3P) Miah Nikora(C/2P) Penalty Try(T)
Sat 31 Oct 15 Sportsground 9 14 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne(2P) Blair Kinghorn(P) Tiernan O’Halloran(T) Jack Carty(3P)
Fri 4 Mar 16 BT Murrayfield 23 28 Chris Dean(T) Cornell du Preez(T) Sam Hidalgo-Clyne(C/2P) Damien Hoyland(T) Eoin McKeon(T) Aj MacGinty(T/C) Jake Heenan(T) Bundee Aki(T) Craig Ronaldson(3C)
Fri 30 Sep 16 Sportsground 15 28 Mike Allen(T) Grant Gilchrist(T) Jason Tovey(C/P) Jack Carty(C/2P) Quinn Roux(T) Niyi Adeolokun(T) Cian Kelleher(T) Peter Robb(T)

 

Weekend Fixtures

Friday, April 7: Edinburgh Rugby v Connacht Rugby (7.35pm, BBC ALBA/TG4); Ulster Rugby v Cardiff Blues (7.35pm, BBC Northern Ireland/BBC Wales).

Saturday, April 8: Zebre Rugby v Newport-Gwent Dragons (2.30pm, Eurosport); Ospreys Rugby v Leinster Rugby (3pm, Sky Sports); Scarlets v Benetton Rugby Treviso (7.35pm, S4C); Munster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors (7.35pm, TG4/BBC ALBA).

View the Guinness PRO12 table here.

Early Bird Season Tickets for the 2017/18 season are on sale until 5pm on April 30.

GUARANTEE YOUR TICKET TODAY.

 

ROUND 3 – PREVIEW (REARRANGED FIXTURE)

Connacht Rugby travel to Italy to take on Zebre Rugby in a fixture that was abandoned in Round 3 due to adverse weather conditions during the game.

What’s at Stake

Both teams come into this game trying to keep alive their mathematical chances of automatic qualification for the Champions Cup. The home team trail Italian rivals Benetton Rugby Treviso by six points while Connacht would need to finish above Scarlets to ensure their place in the Champions Cup on the basis that Glasgow Warriors will qualify as highest-placed Scottish team.

The 2016 Guinness PRO12 champions have won three of their last four games, including a 33-3 win over Zebre in Galway in Round 17

Did you know?

  • This original match on 17 September was abandoned at half time with Connacht leading 22-10.
  • Zebre’s most recent victory was 19-14 over Edinburgh Rugby at BT Murrayfield on 28 October, whilst their most recent victory in Parma was against Newport Gwent Dragons in round 22 last year.
  • Connacht were beaten 35-24 in Glasgow in round 18 to stop a run of four successive Guinness PRO12 victories.
  • Connacht have won just twice on the road in the PRO12 this season, both in February, on trips to Cardiff Blues and Benetton Treviso.
  • The two sides have met on fifteen previous occasions in all competitions with Connacht triumphant in each instance.
  • Connacht have already been victorious in Parma this season, having beaten Zebre 52-7 in the second round of the European Champions Cup.

Overall Guinness PRO12 head to head record: Played 9, Connacht won 9.

ZEBRE v CONNACHT RUGBY
Saturday April 1st
At Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Kick off: 3.30pm local time (2.30pm Ireland & UK)

This game will not be televised due to a clash with an EPCR tournament weekend.

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU, 6th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Graeme Wells (SRU), Emanuele Tomo (FIR)
Citing Commissioner: Roberto Carra (FIR)

HEAD TO HEAD – RECENT GUINNESS PRO12 MEETINGS
Date Venue Z C Zebre scorers Connacht scorers
Sun 23 Feb 14 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi 19 27 Alberto Chillon(C) Giovanbattista Venditti(T) Troy Nathan(C) Samuela Vunisa(T) Dries van Schalkwyk(T) Eoin Griffin(T) Kieran Marmion(T) Dan Parks(2C/P) Rodney Ah You(T) Penalty Try(T)
Fri 21 Nov 14 Sportsground 3 43 David Odiete(P) Ian Porter(C/4P) Danie Poolman(T) John Cooney(T) Jack Carty(T/C) Mick Kearney(T) Miah Nikora(C) Penalty Try(T)
Sat 9 May 15 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi 10 40 Brendon Leonard(T) Luciano Orquera(C/P) Matt Healy(T) Tiernan O’Halloran(T) John Cooney(2T) Jack Carty(3C) Eoghan Masterson(T) Shane O’Leary(T) Conor McKeon(2C)
Fri 16 Oct 15 Sportsground 15 34 Edoardo Padovani(C/P) Johan Meyer(T) Dion Berryman(T) Matt Healy(T) Eoin McKeon(T) Denis Buckley(T) Kieran Marmion(T) Craig Ronaldson(T/3C/P)
Sat 20 Feb 16 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi 34 51 Kelly Haimona(T/4C/2P) Johan Meyer(T) Federico Ruzza(T) Dries van Schalkwyk(T) Matt Healy(3T) Aj MacGinty(3C/2P) Kieran Marmion(T) Niyi Adeolokun(2T) Craig Ronaldson(3C/P)
Fri 3 Mar 17 Sportsground 3 33 Guglielmo Palazzani(P) Tiernan O’Halloran(2C) Naulia Dawai(T) John Cooney(C) Niyi Adeolokun(T) John Muldoon(T) Penalty Try(T) Craig Ronaldson(C) Lewis Stevenson(T)

 

 

COMPARISON Zebre Connacht
Last 3 PRO12 results: 3 Mar – Connacht (A) L 3-33 26 Feb – Treviso (A) W 34-19
  11 Mar – Ulster (A) L 21-68 3 Mar – Zebre (H) W 33-3
  25 Mar – Munster (H) L 14-50 25 Mar – Glasgow (A) L 24-35
 
PRO12 2016/17 12th – W1 D0 L16 – 9pts 7th – W8 D0 L9 – 39pts
Last 6 PRO12 form LlLllL (0pts) lwWwWl (18pts)
Top try scorer 4 – Giovanbattista Venditti, Dries van Schalkwyk 6 – Niyi Adeolokun
Top points scorer 66 – Carlo Canna 70 – Jack Carty

 

BENETTON RUGBY TREVISO v CONNACHT RUGBY 

Sunday 26 February
At Stadio Monigo, 1.30pm local time (12.30pm Ireland & UK).

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU, 57th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Davies (WRU), Guiseppe Vivarini (FIR)
Citing Commissioner: Marco Cordelli (FIR)

Did you know?

  • Benetton Rugby Treviso’s most recent victory was 23-12 at home to Zebre on 23 December. Their only other victory at Stadio Monigo in the Guinness PRO12 this season was against Newport Gwent Dragons in round 4.
  • Connacht Rugby have won their last two Guinness PRO12 encounters but have not won three in a row in the regular season since March.
  • The Irishmen won their most recent away game in the Championship at Cardiff Blues in round 14 – their first away win for 11 months.
  • Connacht have lost only one of their last six fixtures with Treviso: 21-22 at Stadio Monigo in round 21 of the PRO12 last season.

Overall Guinness PRO12 head to head record:

Played 13, Treviso won 4, Connacht won 8 with 1 game drawn.

 

HEAD TO HEAD – RECENT GUINNESS PRO12 MEETINGS
Date Venue B C Benetton Rugby Treviso scorers Connacht scorers
Sat 1 Mar 14 Sportsground 6 38 Mat Berquist(2P) Eoin McKeon(T) Kieran Marmion(T) Fionn Carr(T) Dan Parks(4C/P) John Muldoon(2T) Miah Nikora(C)
Fri 10 Oct 14 Stadio Monigo 6 9 Jayden Hayward(2P) Craig Ronaldson(3P)
Sun 1 Mar 15 Sportsground 5 53 Sam Christie(T) Matt Healy(2T) Tiernan O’Halloran(T) Danie Poolman(T) Denis Buckley(T) Jake Heenan(T) Aly Muldowney(T) Craig Ronaldson(6C/2P)
Fri 6 Nov 15 Sportsground 19 33 Edoardo Gori(T) Jayden Hayward(2T/2C) Matt Healy(T) Robbie Henshaw(T) Tom McCartney(T) Craig Ronaldson(3C/4P)
Fri 29 Apr 16 Stadio Monigo 22 21 Braam Steyn(T) Jayden Hayward(2C/P) Luca Morisi(T) Penalty Try(T) Rory Parata(T) John Cooney(3C) Fionn Carr(T) Peter Robb(T)
Sat 3 Dec 16 Sportsground 8 47 Braam Steyn(T) Ian McKinley(P) Danie Poolman(T) Dave Heffernan(T) Denis Buckley(T) John Cooney(T/4C) Marnitz Boshoff(C) Jack Carty(T/C) Tom McCartney(2T)

 

 

COMPARISON Treviso Connacht
Last 3 PRO12 results: 6 Jan – Dragons (A) L 8-26 7 Jan – Ospreys (A) L 7-29
  12 Feb – Leinster (H) L 14-40 12 Feb – Cardiff Blues (A) W 19-13
  18 Feb – Cardiff Blues (A) L 20-57 18 Feb – Dragons (H) W 14-9
 
PRO12 2016/17 11th – W2 D0 L13 – 11pts 8th – W6 D0 L8 – 29pts
Last 6 PRO12 form lWLlLl (5pts) WlLlwW (14pts)
Top try scorer 4 – Dean Budd 4 – Niyi Adeolokun
Top points scorer 66 – Tommaso Allan 68 – Jack Carty

 

 

Did you know?

  • Connacht Rugby victory in Cardiff on Sunday ended a three game losing run in the Guinness PRO12, whilst the Irishmen’s only home loss in their last eight matches in all tournaments was to Munster in the PRO12 on New Year’s Eve.
  • Newport Gwent Dragons have won only one of their last five Guinness PRO12 fixtures: 26-8 at home to Treviso in round 13.
  • Dragons have not won away from home in the PRO12 since a visit to Treviso in March 2015.
  • Dragons beat Connacht in round 8 in Newport and have only once before achieved a PRO12 season’s double over the Irishmen, in the inaugural home and away season of 2003/04 – the only previous time Dragons have won in Galway.

Overall Guinness PRO12 head to head record:

Played 27, Connacht won 17, Dragons  won 10.

CONNACHT RUGBY v NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS
At the Sportsground, 7.35pm.
Live on TG4 / S4C                            

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU, 146th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Adam Jones (WRU), Shane Kierans (IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Eugene Ryan (IRFU)
TMO:  Charles Samson (SRU)

Get your tickets to Connacht v Dragons here.

HEAD TO HEAD – RECENT GUINNESS PRO12 MEETINGS
Date Venue C N Connacht scorers Newport Gwent Dragons scorers
Sun 23 Mar 14 Rodney Parade 24 8 Dan Parks(2C) Michael Swift(T) John Muldoon(2T) Rodney Ah You(T) Tom Prydie(T) Jason Tovey(P)
Sat 6 Sep 14 Sportsground 16 11 Danie Poolman(T) Eoin McKeon(T) Darragh Leader(2P) Jason Tovey(2P) Nic Cudd(T)
Sun 22 Feb 15 Rodney Parade 30 25 Jack Carty(2C/P) Mick Kearney(T) Eoghan Masterson(T) Darragh Leader(C/2P) Craig Ronaldson(T) Jack Dixon(T) Hallam Amos(2T) Tom Prydie(2C/2P)
Fri 4 Sep 15 Sportsground 29 23 Danie Poolman(T) Nepia Fox-Matamua(T) Jack Carty(C/4P) Fionn Carr(T) Tom Prydie(P) James Thomas(T) Jason Tovey(2C/2P) Sarel Pretorius(T)
Thu 11 Feb 16 Rodney Parade 26 21 Matt Healy(T) Tiernan O’Halloran(T) Eoghan Masterson(T) Bundee Aki(T) Craig Ronaldson(3C) Angus O’Brien(C/2P) Adam Hughes(T) Jason Tovey(P) Ashton Hewitt(T)
Fri 4 Nov 16 Rodney Parade 16 21 Jack Carty(C/3P) Niyi Adeolokun(T) Angus O’Brien(C/2D/P) Ashton Hewitt(2T)

 

 

COMPARISON Connacht Dragons
Last 3 PRO12 results: 31 Dec – Munster (H) L 9-16 1 Jan – Ospreys (H) L 0-10
  7 Jan – Ospreys (A) L 7-29 6 Jan – Treviso (H) W 26-8
  12 Feb – Cardiff Blues (A) W 19-13 10 Feb – Munster (A) L 17-45
PRO12 2016/17 8th – W4 D0 L8 – 21pts 10th – W4 D0 L9 – 19pts
Last 6 PRO12 form lWWlLl (11pts) WWllLW (12pts)
Top try scorer 4 – Niyi Adeolokun 4 – Pat Howard
Top points scorer 68 – Jack Carty 77 – Angus O’Brien

 

Pool 2
Wasps (17 points) will be favourites to win at Zebre and secure their place in the knockout stage, but the clash of Toulouse (14 points) and Connacht (18 points) at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday promises to be a Round 6 classic. A victory for Connacht and it’s straightforward, the Irish province will be in the quarter-finals for the first time, but a win for Toulouse, and the calculators will be out in force. Keep in mind that if it comes to a match points head-to-head between the two clubs, Connacht have four points from their Round 1 success and Toulouse have one point.

Toulouse v Connacht Rugby
Sunday, 22 January
Kick-off: 16:15
Stade Ernest Wallon

Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng)
Assistant Ref: JP Doyle (Eng)
Assistant Ref: Peter Allan (Eng)
TMO: David Grashoff (Eng)
Citing Commissioner: John Montgomery (Sco)

Match facts

  • After previous defeats to Ulster and to Connacht, Toulouse are looking to avoid a third consecutive home loss against Irish opposition.
  • Connacht won in Toulouse in Round 3 in 2013  having scored just three points in total on their two previous Champions Cup games in France.
  • Connacht top the charts for carries, metres, clean breaks and defenders beaten this season.
  • Connacht are the only team in the competition to average more than 20 minutes of possession per game so far (20m 13s).
  • Toulouse have averaged 24.8 offloads per game in this campaign, no other side has averaged 20.

 

Team comparison (European Cup record)

Toulouse Connacht Rugby
Played 155 23
Wins 104 11
Draws 5 0
Losses 46 12
Total Points For 4164 443
Total Points Against 2885 514
Total Tries For 448 42
Total Tries Against 254 57

 

2016/17 Points Scorers                                                                                       Head-to-head record

Toulouse Team Connacht Rugby
5 Played 5
3 Wins 2
2 Losses 3
0 Draws 0

Toulouse:    

Player Points
Sebastien Bezy 29
Toby Flood 19
Arthur Bonneval 15
Yoann Huget 15

 

Connacht Rugby:

Date Home Score Away
08/12/2013 Toulouse 14-16 Connacht Rugby
14/12/2013 Connacht Rugby 9-37 Toulouse
15/10/2016 Connacht Rugby 23-21 Toulouse

 

Player Points
Jack Carty 28
John Cooney 21
Craig Ronaldson 17

 

 

Pool 2: Connacht Rugby v Zebre Rugby

Saturday, 14 January, Kick-off: 13:00, The Sportsground

Tickets available here.

Referee: Tom Foley (Eng), Assistant Ref: Ian Tempest (Eng), Assistant Ref: Roger Baileff (Eng), TMO: Sean Davey (Eng), Citing Commissioner: John Byett (Eng)

Match facts

  • Connacht have won all five previous meetings with Zebre in the tournament including a 52-7 victory in Round 2.
  • Zebre are still searching for their first victory in the top flight (L16); the nearest they have come to winning so far was a five-point loss at The Sportsground in 2013.
  • A win would represent Connacht’s best pool stage performance in a Champions Cup campaign – they have never won four matches in a season.
  • Connacht have averaged the most metres gained (629) and the most clean breaks (15.5) per game this season while Zebre have averaged the fewest metres (215) and clean breaks (3.8).

Team comparison (European Cup record)

Connacht Rugby

Zebre Rugby

Played

22

16

Wins

10

0

Draws

0

0

Losses

12

16

Total Points For

377

147

Total Points Against

493

658

Total Tries For

32

13

Total Tries Against

54

85

 

2016/17 Points Scorers                                                     Head-to-head record

 

Connacht Rugby

Team

Zebre Rugby

5

Played

5

5

Wins

0

0

Losses

5

0

Draws

0

Connacht Rugby:    

Player

Points

Jack Carty

28

Stacey Ili

15

Craig Ronaldson

12

 

Zebre Rugby:

Date

Home

Score

Away

19/10/2013

Zebre Rugby

6-33

Connacht Rugby

11/01/2014

Connacht Rugby

20-3

Zebre Rugby

23/10/2016

Zebre Rugby

7-52

Connacht Rugby

 

Player

Points

Carlo Canna

11

Federico Ruzza

10

Tommaso D’Apice

10

 

 

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