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Ospreys Connacht Lib

 

Join the Connacht Clan in Murty Rabbittes for the first away game of 2017. An injury ravaged Connacht side travel to Swansea to take on second placed Ospreys. Catch all the action live in Murtys from 1.30 p.m! All are welcome!

 

 

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salmson's Avatar
salmson replied the topic: #51414 2 years 11 months ago
We're shipping 40 to 50 more tackles than we're doling out, per game, it's not any more complicated than that:

We make less tackles than any team in the league (avg. 96, median 90).

We are the second most tackled team in the league after Ospreys.

The gap between tackles made and taken (avg. 44, median 53) is twice that of the next team, Glasgow (who get hit 20 times more than their opposition per game).

There's a similar pattern in Europe.

Last year tackles made and taken were even, about 125 tackles for and against us.

The stats would be even more stark if you took out our opening three defeats, where we didn't dominate possession. In most games we're taking about twice as many tackles as we're making. Against Dragons we made 90 and took 241.

Teams are denying us unstructured possession from poor kicks or turnovers in the opposition half. They're simply leathering the ball into touch or as per Munster taking a couple pick and gos and then kick chasing. Unlike last year they are not attempting to build phases against us. Last year we scored a lot of first or second phase tries e.g. Grenoble, and buckets on the counter attack e.g. all the tries in the final (2 kick returns and a turnover in the opposition 22). We didn't score a heap of many-phased tries like Aki's winner against Toulouse, and this year teams are gambling that they can give us possession deep and keep their discipline. So far they've been proved correct.

A side effect of this is our injuries. We're literally getting pummeled every match, and don't forget with us in possession we have to resource every ruck, unlike the defending team who can ruck or not as they deem appropriate.

There's probably secondary multiplicative factors - like Jack and Mul playing every game - but I'm convinced it comes down to the hits we're taking. No other team in the top eight sees such onesidedness of possession and tackle counts.
Wasrednowgreen's Avatar
Wasrednowgreen replied the topic: #51413 2 years 11 months ago
I am at a loos as to why Connacht have such a huge injury list. No other province - playing as much rugby as we are - have no where near the fall out levels. Its almost 'Keystone Cops' stuff at this stage & it will end our season very swiftly now unfortunately.

Pro 12 position is now very hard to even come near predicting & ,as for Europe, it will be in the lap of the Gods :(
Bazzo's Avatar
Bazzo replied the topic: #51411 2 years 11 months ago
The injuries are hugely disappointing, Ospreys well worth the win today though. Strolling through our midfield for tries, first up tackling atrocious at times and our lineout once again fell apart.

I'm going to sound like an awful whinger, and this is kinda seperate from the match because it had absolutely 0 effect on the outcome, but I detest John Lacey as a referee. He's not up to it at all... didn't care about holding on at all today for either side, was there maybe 1 penalty called for that? Buckley was over the ball multiple times legitimately as well as other players and it went the other way too, we got away with holding on a few times. At least twice for us a player CLEARLY had a knee to ground and instead of calling tackle he waited until the attacking players had to do something about their player being illegally held and called maul then resulting in a turnover. Completely ignored a VERY blatant high tackle right in front of him and only went back because his tmo got in his ear about it. Reset the lineout which is not the law at all when an extra player is on the field, it's a penalty(We would have gone for a lineout again anyway but that's immaterial). All round just a bad ref. Rant/Whinge over, feel free to blast me for it but just to be clear again it had nothing to do with the outcome of the match just every time I see him ref a game he infuriates me.

Ehh... in an attempt to not sound like a complete moaner, Cooney's kicking was great today, Parata's not bad either. Scrum went really well, the one time it was penalised I thought it was the wrong call(Shocking that I would disagree with Mr. Lacey I know...)
Sol_ie's Avatar
Sol_ie replied the topic: #51409 2 years 11 months ago
Hmmm.

Well, wouldn't be over the moon with the score, but even more disappointed with the injury list.

Jack is a huge loss. Huge. Jake was sitting at the side line so hopefully nothing too serious. I think Tom might have picked up a knock.

Positives: never gave up. Real effort from everyone. Given they injury profile, our kicking game was OK. Scrum was decent. Unforced errors seemed relatively low, given that it looked a bit slick in Swansea.

Negatives: Injuries. Backs couldn't get going. Line out misfired again on a few occasions. Plenty of possession and territory, without the ability to convert. Defence looked switched off at times.

I think the fact that our training has been interrupted is a major factor.

Roll on Zebre, I suppose.
ThisYearWillBeDifferent's Avatar
ThisYearWillBeDifferent replied the topic: #51407 2 years 11 months ago
Any word on Jake?
mikey's Avatar
mikey replied the topic: #51406 2 years 11 months ago

Borders no.2 wrote: "Where to do we go from here..."

Something we are all scratching our heads thinking about.

mikey's Avatar
mikey replied the topic: #51405 2 years 11 months ago
Our injuries list is going from awful to horrendous.... Jack out for possible ACL injury.... 25 now down.
Borders no.2's Avatar
Borders no.2 replied the topic: #51404 2 years 11 months ago
Where to do we go from here. Jack Carty now out with ACL. Still a bit to go here. Don't really care about the score just get this over at this stage.
Fast twitch's Avatar
Fast twitch replied the topic: #51400 2 years 11 months ago

salmson wrote:

Accidentally Onside wrote: That's a really competitive team. I don't think we'll win but with all the injuries it says a lot about our squad that we can still field such a strong 15.

That said the osprey bench looks very strong so think we might be very competitive for 55-60 mins then fall away. Would snap your hand off for a bonus point. We need Ulster and Glasgow to have big games this weekend to keep the league interesting for us


Surely it doesn't matter which of Scarlets or Ulster wins (Ulster would be a point ahead of Scarlets if the Zebre game handn't been called off)? I'll be happy either way as long as only 4 match points are awarded between the two.

Edit: You might have a point in rooting for Ulster - Scarlets are away to Glasgow, Leinster & Munster in their next 5 so a loss tomorrow could start them tanking as per lat year.


Just a thought to add to your optimism:

I watched the sin bin and penalty try for the high tackle by Sean Reidy in the Scarlets vs Ulster match last night which was very quickly balanced out by a yellow for Jake Ball again for a high tackle.
Pat often mentions coaching our players to the letter of the directions issued by the referee organisers (see post match last week regarding issues at the breakdown).
While we probably have been limited in the amount of contact during training these past few weeks, I'd be sure that we are working on presenting the right kind of picture to referees regarding the height of tackle.
A decision like last night could turn the match in our favour today.
Alternatively, I gather Leinster vs Zebre was full of high tackles as per last week.
Don't get your hopes up too much but you never know.....
Decadence's Avatar
Decadence replied the topic: #51398 2 years 11 months ago
First time poster, edited
DeadStraightStare's Avatar
DeadStraightStare replied the topic: #51395 2 years 11 months ago

Accidentally Onside wrote: That's a really competitive team. I don't think we'll win but with all the injuries it says a lot about our squad that we can still field such a strong 15.


We must be one of the only teams are forced to play a strong team due to injuries and are upset about it.
Evil_g's Avatar
Evil_g replied the topic: #51394 2 years 11 months ago
I'd be pretty confident Cooney will kick, which will hopefully be good for the rest of Jack's game (and lower the likelihood of him aggravating whatever injury he's carrying).
Banm's Avatar
Banm replied the topic: #51393 2 years 11 months ago
Carty or Cooney to kick....???
RogueXV's Avatar
RogueXV replied the topic: #51392 2 years 11 months ago

Accidentally Onside wrote: That's a really competitive team. I don't think we'll win but with all the injuries it says a lot about our squad that we can still field such a strong 15.


Unfortunately with all the injuries they have no other option and when they should be resting a couple of these lads they have to play them. This team will put in an honest effort but sadly at this point I'll be happy if they just get through with no injuries.
salmson's Avatar
salmson replied the topic: #51387 2 years 11 months ago

Accidentally Onside wrote: That's a really competitive team. I don't think we'll win but with all the injuries it says a lot about our squad that we can still field such a strong 15.

That said the osprey bench looks very strong so think we might be very competitive for 55-60 mins then fall away. Would snap your hand off for a bonus point. We need Ulster and Glasgow to have big games this weekend to keep the league interesting for us


Surely it doesn't matter which of Scarlets or Ulster wins (Ulster would be a point ahead of Scarlets if the Zebre game handn't been called off)? I'll be happy either way as long as only 4 match points are awarded between the two.

Edit: You might have a point in rooting for Ulster - Scarlets are away to Glasgow, Leinster & Munster in their next 5 so a loss tomorrow could start them tanking as per lat year.
Accidentally Onside's Avatar
Accidentally Onside replied the topic: #51386 2 years 11 months ago
That's a really competitive team. I don't think we'll win but with all the injuries it says a lot about our squad that we can still field such a strong 15.

That said the osprey bench looks very strong so think we might be very competitive for 55-60 mins then fall away. Would snap your hand off for a bonus point. We need Ulster and Glasgow to have big games this weekend to keep the league interesting for us
Evil_g's Avatar
Evil_g replied the topic: #51385 2 years 11 months ago
Jack starts.

Team to face Ospreys

Saturday January 7th, kick off 13:30, Liberty Stadium

(Connacht caps in brackets)

15 Tiernan O’Halloran (115)
14 Niyi Adeolokun (46)
13 Rory Parata (23)
12 Peter Robb (23)
11 Matt Healy (81)
10 Jack Carty (69)
9 John Cooney (28)

1 Denis Buckley (105)
2 Tom McCartney (53) (captain)
3 Finlay Bealham (69)
4 Quinn Roux (44)
5 James Cannon (6)
6 Sean O’Brien (28)
7 Jake Heenan (45)
8 Naulia Dawai (3)

Replacements:

16 Dave Heffernan (72)
17 JP Cooney (41)
18 John Andress (1)
19 Lewis Stevenson (9)
20 Eoin McKeon (99)
21 Caolin Blade (35)
22 Danie Poolman (76)
23 Ciaran Gaffney (1)

Injured / Unavailable: Ronan Loughney, Conor Carey, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Ivan Soroka, Conan O’Donnell, Ultan Dillane, Ben Marshall, Andrew Browne, Nepia Fox-Matamua, John Muldoon, Eoghan Masterson, Marnitz Boshoff, Shane O’Leary, Craig Ronaldson, Stacey Ili, Bundee Aki, Eoin Griffin, Cormac Brennan, Cian Kelleher, Josh Rowland, Darragh Leader.

clanman's Avatar
clanman replied the topic: #51381 2 years 11 months ago
this is a nuisance game, I don't want us to perform badly but also don't want to see any more injuries so it comes down to which players we can afford to send over and which ones need protecting.
RogueXV's Avatar
RogueXV replied the topic: #51378 2 years 11 months ago
Most seasons I would be saying the league should be Connacht's main focus, but yeah, this year is different with the number of injuries and our current position in the table. The best we can hope for is to get through the Osprey's game with no injuries while using the fewest key players as possible and focus on the last two rounds of the Champions Cup.
Borders no.2's Avatar
Borders no.2 replied the topic: #51358 2 years 11 months ago
Really I just want this game out of the way. Ospreys are serious about the league this year and are always strong at home. They are cruising along in the Challenge Cup so their main objective at the moment is to keep in position for Top 2. Really I don't see the point chasing an unlikely win here. I hate writing off games but in this scenario I think we need to be realistic. Zebre at home we need 5 points so want as good a team as we can put out there before hopefully being in a position to do enough in Toulouse.
Mark Mostyn's Avatar
Mark Mostyn replied the topic: #51350 2 years 11 months ago

Evil_g wrote: As far as I can tell, the last official update on our academy locks was last August when we were told: "Cian Romaine, Peter Claffey and Cillian Gallagher are all unavailable to the senior coaching team due to respective injuries"

Last update on Josh Rowland was after the Ulster game when he was "progressing well with his ankle rehabilitation and is due for a return to play in the coming weeks"

Masterson in the same update was "due to be available in the coming weeks". Ronaldson was "progressing well in his thigh rehabilitation and is due to be available in mid-January"

Not sure what the latest on Conan O'Donnell is.

Hope we see some of the above this weekend. It would be great in particular for Ronaldson to have a few games before Toulouse.


O'Donnell is in a moon boot so will probably be out for a while yet
Evil_g's Avatar
Evil_g replied the topic: #51327 2 years 11 months ago
As far as I can tell, the last official update on our academy locks was last August when we were told: "Cian Romaine, Peter Claffey and Cillian Gallagher are all unavailable to the senior coaching team due to respective injuries"

Last update on Josh Rowland was after the Ulster game when he was "progressing well with his ankle rehabilitation and is due for a return to play in the coming weeks"

Masterson in the same update was "due to be available in the coming weeks". Ronaldson was "progressing well in his thigh rehabilitation and is due to be available in mid-January"

Not sure what the latest on Conan O'Donnell is.

Hope we see some of the above this weekend. It would be great in particular for Ronaldson to have a few games before Toulouse.
FACECUTTR's Avatar
FACECUTTR replied the topic: #51317 2 years 11 months ago
Dennis doesn't need a break he had enough time off with his injury and possibly Tom too. Finlay does need a break.
Masterson should be ready to rock now.
Maybe one of the 2 under 20 locks could bench if they are fit.
Connolly is a good player and I don't understand why he doesn't get more gametime.
Does anybody know what the story with Josh Rowland? He hasn't been fit since he signed has he ?
dobby's Avatar
dobby replied the topic: #51316 2 years 11 months ago
As I said on the Connacht Munster thread we need to pull back and reassess. I see no way we will win away to Ospreys and the stats shown above backs that up. So give as many of these bodies a break as possible and experiment with new players. Lets see how Caolin does at 10. Lets rest Tiernan. Even moreso lets rest Niyi. He is just running into brick walls these days and he simply has to learn how to maintain possession and recycle. Maybe, from last year, he is not used to taking ball into contact. His recycling has been a penalty machine this year, so he has something to work on. So let's use Gaffney and Brennan instead. They are both fine players. Matt hopefully will be fine after having a bit of time to come back from injury.

I have no issue using Rory Parata in the centre. The more he plays the better he gets. And he hasn't had many opportunities. If Craig is fit then give him a run beside Rory. If not then try Dawai beside Rory. Now that would be an interesting combo. Either Peter Robb or Craig can be backup.

Also I expect Marmion must be rested under player welfare rules so Kerins starts with Blade outside him.

James Connolly hasn't been involved in an age, yet when he was involved he was impressive. So give him a shot. Jake probably will hang in there and should be ok. Is Eoin McKeon injured. If not then that's a grand back row. Then how about James Cannon with SOB2. And in the front row, Denis really needs a rest, Tom also and also Finlay. So we go with JP Cooney Delahunt, Andress.

And on the bench lowdnes to cover scrum half, conor McKeon outhalf, Louis Stevenson to cover back-row, Qualter lock, Dinneen, Heffernan, Meunargia front row.
Robb or Ronaldson to cover backs.

And this is not a bad team. So Pat, there you have it. That's Dobbys selection. And you get to rest your players while finding out a bit about emerging talent in the process.

Edit: And I would say there is no reason that team could not surprise you and win at ospreys. I just see the mental hardship on, what folks would call, the primary 15. They just need out time. With two crucial ties coming up they do not need another 'test' of their doggedness. Give them a break Pat.
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