Nigel Carolan targeting double for Connacht in South Africa

Nigel Carolan targeting double for Connacht in South Africa

Connacht assistant coach Nigel Carolan says his side are determined to fulfil their ambition of winning twice in South Africa when they take on Cheetahs this Saturday.

A bonus-point win over Kings last weekend was the perfect start to their tour in the Southern Hemisphere, and Carlonan is eyeing a second victory in Bloemfontein this weekend.

Connacht were denied by a last-minute penalty when they previously visited the Highveld in March, but with the side riding high in Conference A, Carolan says they are determined to carve out a second victory in a week.

“We have targeted two wins coming to South Africa. Job one is complete,” said Carolan.

“Not that we were worried about it, the lads nailed their preparation and their attitude during the week; we knew that they would be able to deliver a performance worthy of the win.

“It’s always the way when you come away and you’re in a nice town like Cape Town, with a lot of distractions. But they have been very good, they knew when to switch on and off and that’s very important.”

Connacht only brought 25 players with them for the two-week tour and it came as some relief to Andy Friend and his management team to see everyone come through the first week’s training and Kings win unscathed.

Denis Buckley (rib) and Sean O’Brien (shoulder) were slight concerns, but both of them trained after they returned to their Cape Town base from Port Elizabeth. While it will be tough to change a winning team, Carolan thinks they will make some adjustments.

“They’re all good, everyone is pretty good,” said Carolan. 

“There was a couple of bangs. Denis had a minor rib cartridge strain, but he’s all good, he trained today. We have brought 25 players and I think we won’t make changes just for the sake of it, but we are also conscious that we’ll need fresh legs as well.

“We’ll have to consider Robin (Copeland) and Niyi (Adeolokun), the two guys that weren’t involved last weekend, we have to try and find a space for them somewhere in the squad this week.”

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