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Topic-icon Connacht V Dragons 6/09/2014 5pm

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28280

Looking forward to the first real fixture of this season... Here is the squad update ahead of the game

"The Connacht squad are in the final stages of their pre-season preparations with their opening round of the GUINNESS PRO12 kicking off on Saturday September 6th when Newport Gwent Dragons visit the Sportsground. Kick-off is at 5pm.

Unavailable for Saturday’s opening clash is new centre Shane O’Leary who picked up a quad haematoma in training last week. The 21-year-old Cork man, who joined Connacht during the summer from FC Grenoble, should regain running later in the week and will be assessed ahead of the round 2 fixture away to Edinburgh.

Also unavailable for another week is winger Matt Healy who sustained a hand fracture in Connacht’s pre-season game away to Clermont Auvergne last month. Healy joins Tiernan O’Halloran (knee), Mils Muliaina (elbow), Andrew Browne (knee), Jason Harris-Wright (shoulder) and Mata Fifita (shoulder) in the rehab group.

Meanwhile, Captain John Muldoon, prop Ronan Loughney and versatile forward Aly Muldowney all returned to full training at the Sportsground yesterday and are expected to be available for selection this week"

We're not doing too badly on the injury front although with Marmion and Henshaw being rested for this opening game i think it will be a closer game than many people think, but we do have a good record against the Dragons, although they have improved in the last 12 months, They have their own injury worries with Falatau doubtful and with both of their 1st choice centres injured they will be coming here with 18yr and 19yr old centres.

In summary I expect us to win but not by much

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28281

This is too tight to call IMO. Dragons are in decent condition (3 from 3 in pre-sesason) and have made some good signing. If Aled Brew and Lee Byrne are both fit and firing then with our depleted backs we could easily be out-gunned. Shove it up the jumper time.


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A Connacht is for Life
Last edit: 6 years 3 weeks ago by Diom.

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28282

Connacht concluded last season with an unwanted run of five successive defeats since the beat Dragons at Rodney Parade at the end of March.
The Irishmen have been successful in their round 1 encounter for three of the last four seasons.

Newport Gwent Dragons 20-19 victory over Treviso in round 22 last season ended a seven game winless run in the competition.

Dragons have won their opening fixture for the past two seasons, but their only away victory in the Guinness PRO12 since February 2013 came at Glasgow in round 8 last year.

Connacht's only defeat to the Dragons in their last six encounters was 3-14 at Rodney Parade in November 2012,whilst the 'Men from Gwent' have won just once before at the Sportsground: 32-14 on their first ever visit on 1st May 2004.

At Sportsground, 5pm.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 30th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan, Mark Connolly (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Wayne Sheridan (IRFU)


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6 years 3 weeks ago #28285

Something like :

1) Buckley
2) Heffernan/Henry
3) Ah You/White
4) Kearney
5) Roux/Muldowney
6) Muldoon
7) Heenan
8 ) Naoupu/McKeon
9) Porter
10) Carty/Ronaldson/Nikora
11) Niyi/Carr
12) McSharry
13) Leader
14) Poolman
15) Layden

16) Heffernan/Henry
17) Bealham/Loughney
18) Ah You/White
19) Qualter/Swift
20) Faloon
21) Cooney/Blade
22) Carty/Ronaldson/Nikora
23) Finn/Carr/Niyi

Last edit: 6 years 3 weeks ago by connachta.

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28286

ConnachtCows wrote: Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 30th competition game)


Sigh.......


“I wanna f#*kin' win, I wanna f#*kin' win..............BADLY”
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6 years 3 weeks ago #28287

menacethedenis wrote:

ConnachtCows wrote: Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 30th competition game)


Sigh.......


Nah, he's the one which allows us to win in Toulouse, great refereeing, coping with the pressure, sober etc..

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28289

connachta wrote:

menacethedenis wrote:

ConnachtCows wrote: Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 30th competition game)


Sigh.......


Nah, he's the one which allows us to win in Toulouse, great refereeing, coping with the pressure, sober etc..


My 3rd favourite ref. He is good.

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28290

Relies too much on his assistants. Especially when discounting our tries. Out of interest s4p, who are the top two?


A Connacht is not just for the Xmas Inter-Pros...
A Connacht is for Life

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28292

Connacht v Newport-Gwent Dragons – Galway Sportsground Guinness Pro 12 Round 1
Saturday 6th September 2014 Kick Off 17:00


After four months of a wait, Pro 12 rugby returns to the Sportsground this Saturday evening. Connacht host Newport-Gwent Dragons in a game which has traditionally gone well for Connacht. Dragons last win in Galway came just 6 days after Connacht narrowly lost the two leg European Challenge Cup Semi-Final to Harlequins in 2004.

Welsh Regional Rugby has seen a lot of upheaval in recent times but Dragons appear to have strengthened over the close season and 3 wins from 3 in pre-season including a 2 point win over Northampton Saints indicates that they will travel to the West of Ireland full of belief as they look to qualify for the European Cup for the first time since 2010/11.

Other Match Stats

  1. Connacht have won the last 3 meetings between the sides
  2. Connacht's last league win was a bonus point win away to Dragons on March 23rd
  3. Since the advent of the Celtic League in 2001/02 Connacht have won 10 of their 13 opening fixtures in the competition. Connacht's opening day winning streak was brought to a halt by Ospreys in September 2008 as they emerged from the Sportsground with a 16-3 victory
  4. Connacht have twice defeated Dragons at home on the opening day. 22-7 in September 2007 and a 40-17 bonus point victory in Eric Elwood's first game in charge in September 2010
  5. Connacht's highest official attendance for an opening day fixture was 4,084 in the 25-16 victory over Zebre last season.
Newport-Gwent Dragons Stats
Website: www.newportgwentdragons.com/
Founded: 2003 (Setup as a Regional Side)
Ground: Rodney Parade
Capacity: 11,676
Captain: Lee Byrne
Coaches: Kingsley Jones

Rabo Direct Pro 12 League Position 2013/14: 9th Played 22 Points 35
European Challenge Cup 2013/14: 2nd in Pool 2 Points 14
Anglo-Welsh Cup 2013/14: 4th in Pool 1 Points 4

Previous Fixtures
Dragons 20-19 Benetton Treviso (Pro 12 Round 22 2013/14)
Bristol 19-34 Dragons (Friendly)
Lydney 0-36 Dragons (Friendly)
Dragons 27-25 Northampton (Friendly)

Next League Fixture:
Friday 12th September 2014 Newport Gwent Dragons v Ospreys @ Rodney Parade. Kick Off: 19:35

Challenge Cup (Pool 3)
Stade Francais Paris
Dragons
Newcastle
Europe 2 Qualifiers

Dragons Ins and Outs

Players In
Aled Brew from Biarritz Olympique
Lee Byrne from Clermont Auvergne
Rhys Buckley from Moseley
Boris Stankovich from Leicester Tigers
Ian Gough from London Irish
Dave Young from Jersey
Rynard Landman from Free State Cheetahs
Lloyd Fairbrother from Exeter Chiefs
Andy Powell from Wigan Warriors
Brok Harris from Western Province / Stormers

Players Out
Ieuan Jones to Cardiff Blues
Will Harries released
Sam Parry to Ospreys
Dan Evans to Ospreys
Steffan Jones loan to Bedford Blues
Robert Sidoli retired
Jevon Groves released
Darren Waters to London Welsh
Kris Burton released

Previous Meetings

Sunday 23rd March 2014 Rabo Direct Pro 12
Dragons 8-24 Connacht
www.pro12rugby.com/matchcentre/14535.php

Saturday 21st December 2013 Rabo Direct Pro 12
Connacht 14-11 Dragons
www.pro12rugby.com/matchcentre/13650.php

Last edit: 6 years 3 weeks ago by Borders no.2.
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6 years 3 weeks ago #28293

Ok first factfile of the season above. Hope to add more in relation to reports on past meetings etc. in the next few days if I get time.

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28294

And the first article of the new site!
connachtclan.com/news/331-dragons-factfile-september-2014


"Our march is quite slow y'know, when we get to where we want to get to, it's going to take time, but when we get there it's going to be fantastic." - Johnny O'Connor 2013
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6 years 3 weeks ago #28295

I've seen most of Connacht's home and away games against NGD over the past 5 seasons - and haven't rated the Dragons very highly in many of them, as results have borne out. However, I saw the Dragons a fortnight ago (albeit in their pre-season friendly with lots of substitutions at Bristol) and they looked well organised, well up for it and dare i say, very professional. Lee Byrne and their Golf Cart Pro, Andy Powell - only half fit - looked particularly ominous.

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28304

Good news for Connacht- Kieran Marmion will be on the bench on Saturday.

From Galway advertisers mcKenIiZe

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28305

Thought the IRFU were keeping him out.
This is good news. Try from the bottom of a ruck coming up

Anyway, I'm very excited. Think we're in for a tough game, but cant wait to get back in there cheering them on


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6 years 3 weeks ago #28317

Was Marmion eligible to come back or did Lam petition the IRFU for his early release from the player welfare program? I'm sure he wasn't to be back until the 2nd round. Perhaps he's "use in case of emergency only".

Something has to give here, either Connacht's decent record against the Dragons and in home openers or the Dragons' strong preseason form. Hoping it's a case of flatter to deceive on the part of the Dragons though by most accounts it doesn't sound like it. It's a good first test for Connacht. This season they have to be stronger at home and also beat the teams around them more often if they hope to move up the table. Even if the Dragons are improved this is the type of game Connacht have to win to show they're making progress..

Last edit: 6 years 3 weeks ago by RogueXV.

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6 years 3 weeks ago #28318

RogueXV wrote: Was Marmion eligible to come back or did Lam petition the IRFU for his early release from the player welfare program? I'm sure he wasn't to be back until the 2nd round. Perhaps he's "use in case of emergency only"..


Or IRFU adopted the FFR low-case about international players : have to be rested but a 20-minute-long entering maximun doesn't count

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