Tuesday 12 December 2017

Home gains for Connacht

WHILE Connacht put an end to 10 straight reverses in the PRO12 League last Saturday, it took a nail-biting penalty from out-half Niall O'Connor to give them two points, not four.

Amazingly, the western province has not won a match in the league since September. Much of the reason is down to the thin squad and how coach Eric Elwood has to turn out the same side week after week. They are simply out on their feet.

On the other hand, Michael Bradley's Edinburgh have lost their last four and have only two away wins to their credit since 2009. They were both in Italy.

It is also significant that the home side have won all six of the last encounters between these two clubs. A home win could conceivably bump Connacht up to ninth on the ladder.

Connacht v Edinburgh, The Sportsground, Tonight (KO 7.30)

Verdict: Connacht

Connacht: G Duffy (capt); F Vainikolo, K Tonetti, H Fa'afili, T O'Halloran; N O'Connor, F Murphy; D Buckley, A Flavin, R Loughney, M Swift, M McCarthy, J Muldoon, E Grace, G Naoupu.

Edinburgh: C Paterson; T Brown, J Thompson, M Scott, T Visser; G Hunter, C Lock; K Traynor, A Kelly, J Gilding, G Gilchrist, S Cox, S McInally, R Grant (capt), N Talei.

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