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mccarthy formd 

Connacht have broken their losing streak at last and finally can head into a match on the back of a win. However the effort expended in getting that win, and the broken bodies left along the way could tell as Connacht head to Wales to face the Cardiff Blues.



Starting XV:


Starting XV


15. Gavin Duffy (C)
14. Fetu’u Vainikolo
13. Kyle Tonetti
12. Dave McSharry
11. Tiernan O’Halloran
10. Niall O’Connor
09. Paul O’Donohoe
08. George Naoupu
07. Ray Ofisa
06. John Muldoon
05. Mike McCarthy
04. Michael Swift
03. Ronan Loughney
02. Adrian Flavin
01. Brett Wilkinson

16. Ethienne Reynecke
17. Denis Buckley
18. Stewart Maguire
19. Dave Gannon
20. Mick Kearney
21. Dave Moore
22. Matthew Jarvis
23. Henry Fa’afili

15. Ben Blair
14. Richard Mustoe
13.Casey Laulala
12. Gavin Evans
11. Tom James
10. Ceri Sweeney
09. Richie Rees
08. Xavier Rush
07. Martyn Williams
06. Maama Molitika
05. Paul Tito (C)
04. Michael Paterson
03. Sam Hobbs
02. T Rhys Thomas
01. John Yapp

16. Ryan Tyrell
17. Nathan Trevett
18. Ryan Harford
19. Cory Hill
20. Macauley Cook
21. Lewis Jones
22. Gareth Davies
23. Tom Williams


 Connacht will look to send a very solid starting backrow combination into direct competition with Cardiff's equally experienced set of loose forwards, and it looks like it will be very envenly matched. The second row combo of McCarthy and Swift will be up against captain Tito and ex-New Zealand U-21 player Paterson, and again it look very evenly matched. In fact looking at the front rows, the packs overall have a similar level of experience and quality throughout.

Connacht are still without the skills of Eoin Griffin in the center of the park, but Tonetti and McSharry seem able deputies, with Vainikolo retaining his place on the wing. The half-back pairing is O'Connor alongside O'Donaghue, and they will need to be in top form to edge out their lively opposite numbers. Dave Moore and Matthew Jarvis may offer an alternative off the bench, with Henry taking the last position in the backs lineup.

The match looks like it may descend into an arm-wrestle, with two strong packs fighting it out. The Welsh however are always keen to run, and with some of the soft tries Connacht have given away this season out wide that will be a worry to Connacht fans. Connacht have broken their streak though, and will have learned a lot from their HEC participation. With a bit of luck one streak could turn into a different kind altogether.



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