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Topic-icon Ulster v Connacht, Sat May 4th 2019 17:35 - Eir Sport 1 & Premier Sports 1

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1 year 9 months ago #66038

Ulster team to play Connacht, Guinness PRO14 quarter-final, Kingspan Stadium, Saturday 4th May 2019 (5.35pm):

(15-9): M Lowry; R Baloucoune, L Marshall, S McCloskey, R Lyttle; B Burns, J Cooney;
(1-8): E O’Sullivan, R Best (captain), R Kane, I Henderson, K Treadwell, N Timoney, J Murphy, M Coetzee;

Replacements: R Herring, A Warwick, T O’Toole, A O’Connor, S Reidy, D Shanahan, D Cave, A Kernohan.

CONNACHT STARTING XV & REPLACEMENTS VS ULSTER

(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Stephen Fitzgerald, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Gavin Thornbury, Eoin McKeon, Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler (Capt).

Replacements (16-23): Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, Eoghan Masterson, Paul Boyle, Caolin Blade, Tom Daly, Darragh Leader.

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1 year 9 months ago #66039

Gonna be a great match!!

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1 year 9 months ago #66040

Only slight surprises there are Masterson and Tom Daly instead of Copeland and Godwin (although Kyle might be injured) on the bench. Very strong 23. Their back row is strong, but overall think we might shade this.

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1 year 9 months ago #66043

Bookies seem to have cut our handicap from +6 to +5 since the team announcement ...


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"We haven’t liked the wind and rain for about four years now" - John Muldoon 1/1/2015
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1 year 9 months ago #66045

Very excited, with the exception of their second row perhaps there's no one in their starting team that I would take instead of our own.

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1 year 9 months ago #66049

First time staying in Belfast. Few of us going up. Just wondering what the story is wrt wearing our Connacht jerseys in pubs before and after game

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1 year 9 months ago #66050

hontherobe wrote: First time staying in Belfast. Few of us going up. Just wondering what the story is wrt wearing our Connacht jerseys in pubs before and after game


The popular pre and post game pubs near the ground no problem (Pavilion/Errigle/Northern Lights). Centre of town will vary pub to pub (may be asked to zip up coat etc)

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1 year 9 months ago #66053

Fair play was gonna ask the same question myself!!

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1 year 9 months ago #66062

Won't be a problem anywhere you're likely to want to go.

A few arsey places in the city centre might ask you to cover a sports top, but most won't be bothered.

I've been wearing Connacht shirts all over Belfast for the best part of a decade and not once had a word said agin me...

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1 year 9 months ago #66071

Where are you guys heading pre-game. We are gonna head for Hatfield house to start with now anyway!!

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1 year 9 months ago #66072

Boots09 wrote: Where are you guys heading pre-game. We are gonna head for Hatfield house to start with now anyway!!


Good squad of Connacht lads in the Errigle watching Munster game.

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1 year 9 months ago #66073

I always knew beating Ulster in Belfast twice in a season would be a tall ask but very disappointed all the same. Up until the Bundee try I thought we weren't going to even fire a shot. We allowed them have their way at the rucks and there's very little that can be done if you're not securing your own ball at the very least. I feel like we're really missing some power plays and tactical nous that is required for knock out games. It was especially disappointing as we had them in the lineout, scrum, maul for large parts of the game but didn't capitalise. Contrast with cooneys smart run down the blindside off one of their mauls - very simple but effective and caught us out. Don't want to be too negative as we have a really good squad right now and plenty of room to improve but next year will be very testing now we're back in champions cup and providing multiple players to the world cup (and possibly others kept on standby).

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1 year 9 months ago #66074

Felt a lack of power was our undoing today. We just had nobody of the calibre and strength of Coetzee in the back-row. We were unfortunate to lose Thornbury, but I felt Masterson played well in his place. We had the better line out, drew the scrums and had a potent maul. Unfortunately Jack had one of his quieter games, and that missed penalty to touch early in the first half having spurned the chance of a kick at goal was costly. Missed chance of creating some early momentum against the wind. Bundee I felt plated very well and was certainly up for it, but TOH's performance once again underwhelmed. The coaching team have a serious selection question to answer at 15 next season. Can we continue to accommodate a hot-and-cold TOH, or do we go for Leader from now on? One final issue is the composition of the back row and the lack of a ball carrier in the mould of Coetzee. IMHO we shouldn't be starting Jarrad Butler and Colby Fainga'a in the back row. They're too much of a muchness (7's essentially) and though they are both fine players and excellent professionals we need more beef at 8 than Jarrad brings. If Copeland's chronic injury-proneness is to continue then maybe we need to cut him and replace with a carrying No8 in the mould of Coetzee. With us having said a new tight head is shortly to be announced, I would say we need a ball-carrying 8, back up 10, and at least one (if not two) additions to the back three - a 15 and a strike winger are needed to fill out the squad for next season.

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1 year 9 months ago #66075

Disagree we need a back row to be honest. Fainga'a and Butler are two of our best players and when O'Brien is back he'll be the perfect brute to complement them in the back row. With Dillane and Roux there are also two big carriers in the row. With Boyle looking like a future star and McKeon, Copeland very able deputies and Masterson never letting the side down I think it would be a waste of funds to be honest. Bit misleading comparing anyone against Coetzee who imo would walk into the starting back row at any province and in a lot of tier 1 international teams. Could easily have been in the starting Bok back row and may well be in the future. Splash the cash on a tighthead, which won't come cheap, and a quality powerful back three player who will have teams thinking twice about kicking behind.

ALL of our forwards (and preferably backs) need to work on their breakdown work, especially protecting our own ball.

Last edit: 1 year 9 months ago by Bazzo.
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1 year 9 months ago #66076

A bit harsh on Halloran in my opinion.
I didn't think he did too much wrong he spilled one ball, that I can remember.
He took the ball up quite well a number of times in a game that Ulster defence had us well marshalled for the majority of the game, and not too many of our backs were allowed chances.

Last edit: 1 year 9 months ago by Newname.
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1 year 9 months ago #66078

TOH is not the same player of three seasons ago. Unfortunately he has been consistently average to poor all season. His Classic trademark hop skip just doesn't work anymore as all the opposition know it. His previous strength under a high ball is gone with more knock ons now than catches this season. As basically an attacking fullback his defense was never his strong suit. With the attacking cut absent this season his defensive frailties of knock ons, positioning and missed tackles have come sharply into focus. We need a new FB the team need to have confidence in the FB with the consistency of his performance. Sadly the team doesn't appear to have that anymore.

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