The Connacht Ladies rugby face a difficult task on Saturday afternoon as they go head to head with Leinster in the Sportsground (12 noon ) in the second match of their interprovincial series.
Connacht go into the game following a disappointing 22-7 defeat to defending champions Munster in Musgrave Park last weekend after a brave Connacht performance. Although Connacht’s defence was at times questionable, with Munster running in four tries over the course of the game, Connacht looked comfortable going forward and showed an excellent team spirit throughout.
Coach Lyndon Jones said Connacht’s poor set piece was a major factor in their loss.
“We definitely came under a lot of pressure in the set piece. We struggled to get clean ball from our scrums and at times there was miscommunication between our throwers and receivers in the lineout.”
However Jones was proud of his team’s efforts.
“It’s the closest we’ve pushed Munster for a few years now. We played with real passion and showed great courage. I think we looked dangerous in attack too, our try was beautifully worked by our team. It was a great score.”
Connacht go into the game in the Sportsground with their pride intact and their heads held high after the result in Cork. If Connacht can stitch up a few holes in their defence and improve their set piece, there is certainly a chance of them springing a surprise.
“It’s been a while since we beat Leinster and they are a very good side. But we are confident that if we put in another strong performance, we can win.”
Connacht’s next opponents Leinster looked magnificent in their opening game of the season, a six try rout of Ulster.
Leinster did not only show superb creativity when on the attack, but also exhibited their wonderful defensive ability through big hits and fast, aggressive counter rucking.
Leinster coach Dan Van Zyl was delighted with his team’s showing,
“We were excellent all around I think. I was particularly happy with the link between our pack and our backline. They communicated excellently.”
Despite Leinster being obvious favourites, Van Zyl believes the match against Connacht will be difficult and nothing should be taken for granted.
“I have no doubt the game against Connacht will be very challenging and highly physical. I expect Connacht to fight for every ball and give the game 100 per cent, like they always do.”
Given Connacht’s courageous performance against Munster, their huge work rate, and an eagerness to create tries, the westerners may yet be able to cause an upset.