Thursday 18 January 2018

Connacht badly in need of a big performance

CJ Stander. Pic: Sportsfile
CJ Stander. Pic: Sportsfile

Connacht will attempt to do away from home at Stadio Lanfranchi this evening (KO 5.05, TG4) what they could not do in Galway.

"Zebre are a team we know well, having played them 12 times in the past four seasons," said coach Pat Lam.

"Our good record against them is due to the respect we give them in our preparation and this week has been no different.

"With this being their first game home game of the season, we understand the tough challenge ahead of us."

The champions have conceded ten tries and 73 points in the first two rounds to slouch uncomfortably in last position.

Meanwhile, Munster have taken five points to be in fifth place in advance of playingy the Dragons at Rodney Parade this afternoon (KO 5.15, Sky Sports 4).

Rassie Erasmus calls on Ireland's Conor Murray, Keith Earls, Donnacha Ryan and CJ Stander to make their first starts of the season.

Zebre: E Padovani; G Di Giulio, G Bisegni, T Boni, G Venditi; C Canna, G Palazzani; A de Marchi, O Fabiani, P Ceccarelli, Q Geldenhuys, G Biagi (capt), J Sarto, M Mbanda, F Ruzza.

Connacht: T O'Halloran; N Adeolokun, B Aki, E Griffin, C Kelleher; J Carty, D Buckley, T McCartney, JP Cooney, L Stevenson, A Browne, E McKeon, J Connolly, J Muldoon (capt).

Dragons: C Meyer; P Howard, T Morgan, J Dixon, H Amos; N MacLeod, S Pretorius; S Hobbs, R Buckley, B Harris, N Crosswell, R Landman, L Evans (capt), O Griffiths, E Jackson.

Munster: A Conway; D Sweetnam, K Earls, D Goggin, R O'Mahony; T Bleyendaal, C Murray; J Cronin, N Scannell, J Ryan, J Kleyn, D Ryan, B Holland (capt), J O'Donoghue, CJ Stander.


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