Elwood upset over ‘missed opportunity’

Connacht 9 Cardiff Blues 13

Elwood upset over ‘missed opportunity’

And he has demanded a response from his players when they face RaboDirect Pro12 newcomers Zebre in Italy on Friday night.

Elwood said: “It’s okay to be cross and upset now, but the good thing about this competition is that you have the opportunity to make it right the following week. If we are hurting now, the only way to make it right is by going to Zebre and getting the four points over there.”

Elwood said the rain, wind, and greasy conditions were no excuse as his side failed to capitalise on an abundance of possession, and made far too many errors against the Cardiff Blues, minus their internationals.

“Disappointing is an understatement,” said Elwood. “It was a missed opportunity. With the ball we had and the opportunities we had, I think we should have made it pay and got the four points. But we just were not able to hold onto the ball in key areas. We had a solid platform and we had a simple game plan to play the conditions — but our execution let us down.”

Connacht’s dominant scrum had earned them a succession of penalties, but outhalf Miah Nikora missed a 12th minute kick at goal. Cardiff then posted the first of their 13 points with a Ceri Sweeny penalty. A second three-pointer followed before debutant scrum-half Lewis Jones pounced for the game’s only try after the home side once again failed to secure lineout ball and clear their lines. Within six minutes of the restart Nikora struck the first of three penalties to close the gap to four, but they could not penetrate a Cardiff side that, while organised in defence, was helped by the home side’s inability to hold onto possession.

CONNACHT: G Duffy; T O’Halloran, E Griffin, M Fifita, F Vainikolo; M Nikora, K Marmion; D Buckley, E Reynecke, R Loughney; M Swift, M McCarthy; J Muldoon, J O’Connor, G Naoupu.

Replacements: W Faloon for O’Connor (51), D Gannon for McCarthy (54), R Ah You for Loughney, A Flavin for Reynecke, R Hensahw for Vainikolo and M Jarvis for Griffin (all 60).

CARDIFF BLUES: D Fish; H Robinson, G Evans, G Davies, T James; C Sweeney, L Jones; T Davies, A Kyriacou, T Filise ; R Copeland, J Down; R Watts-Jones, J Navidi, A Pretorius.

Replacements: L Reed for Copeland (47m), B Bourrest for Davies (54), L Williams for Jones (67), L Hamilton for Watt-Jones (70, N Trevett for Filise (75).

Referee: A McMenemy (SRU).

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