Tuesday 21 November 2017

No positives as Connacht slump to unlucky loss 13

CONNACHT slumped to their 13th consecutive defeat at the weekend to add to a losing sequence that stretches all the way back to last September.

But Saturday's 20-6 loss to Aironi was the most unsatisfactory, as the Westerners registered just two converted penalties - from Matthew Jarvis and Niall O'Connor - over the course of the 80 minutes and looked a completely different side to the one which outplayed Leinster just one week before.

"Personally speaking, there is nothing positive we can take from this," said assistant coach Billy Millard.

"This game was the most disappointing of all; the performance was totally unacceptable, right across the field.

"I've always been of the belief that if you lose games in that fashion you either don't care or you're careless, and I think it was a bit of both.

"You'd like to think you come with the right attitude. After all, this was a chance to break our losing streak. But we never showed the same level of desire as against Leinster, and our execution just wasn't on the money."

Aironi, by contrast, took just about every chance that came their way, with Samoan winger Sinoti Sinoti scoring the game-breaking try in the second half to augment 15 points from the boot of Luciano Orquera.


Connacht eventually came on strong in the final quarter, and the outcome might have been different had Fetu'u Vainikolo stretched an extra inch with a desperate lunge for the line. Michael Swift and George Naoupu also came close during the frenetic late stages, but by then their fate was already sealed.

The result sees Connacht drop to second last in the table, with their hopes of catching Ulster to claim a place in next season's Heineken Cup now beginning to look forlorn.

With a trip to Toulouse next week, and upcoming fixtures against both Harlequins and Cardiff, it's not easy to see when their next win will be.

Millard was adamant, however, that the players need to justify selection.

"The players have to aim higher," he said. "They are getting a lot of money to do this. A few of them haven't got the experience, but they can still show the right attitude and come out to perform."

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