Tuesday 16 January 2018

Weakened Connacht to edge out Glasgow

Connacht coach Pat Lam's resources are being tested by the promotion of Academy lock Ultan Dillane to the engine room as Glasgow come to The Sportsground today (KO1.05, TG4).

Michael Swift, Mick Kearney and Quinn Roux are all out of the picture, leaving the front row of Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney and Rodney Ah You to carry quite a load in the trenches.

Away from there, the fifth appearance of Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki together in the centre will provide space for quick wings Danie Poolman and Matt Healy.

This will place a premium value on the control of Kieron Marmion and Jack Carty, which has been lacking in recent weeks, with John Cooney and Craig Ronaldson able deputies from the bench.

Further to this, Glasgow have been hit with a season-ending injury to centre Mark Bennett (shoulder) and possibly the same outcome for DTH van der Merwe (hand).

However, the impact of Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray, captain for the day, and the inclusion of wing Niko Matawalu and lock Leone Nakarawa is proof the leaders will look to move the ball.

Connacht: T O'Halloran; D Poolman, R Henshaw, B Aki, M Healy; J Carty, K Marmion; D Buckley, T McCartney, R Ah You, U Dillane, A Muldowney, J Muldoon, (capt), E Masterson, E McKeon.

Glasgow: S Hogg; T Seymour, R Vernon, P Horne, N Matawalu; F Russell, H Pyrgos; J Yanuyanutawa, F Brown, E Murray, L Nakawara, J Gray (capt), R Harley, C Fusaro, A Ashe.

VERDICT: Connacht


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