Damage limitation now top of the agenda for Connacht

Connacht make their final away trip of a disappointing season when they face another searching evening in Glasgow against a Warriors side aiming to wrap up a home quarter-final in the PRO14.

Connacht succeeded Glasgow as champions two years ago but have fallen off the pace since then, with fans hoping that this is a transition period and that there will be an upward curve in Kieran Keane’s second season in charge.

They have little but pride to play for but with Warriors this evening being followed by Leinster next week, limiting the damage could be the main target for these two final games of the campaign.

Forwards coach Jimmy Duffy said they know they face a big test from a Warriors side who set the pace all season but have slipped up a couple of times.

“We are working through some things at the minute and really looking forward to the challenge, which is the biggest thing for us.

“Matching them physically is crucial and keeping the ball ourselves and being efficient with it when we do have the ball is crucial.

“In the last few weeks you’ve seen some of the good stuff that we can do when the weather has gotten better but we have to be able to adapt.

“Like anybody else it may be wet on the weekend but we have a plan in place to keep us in a really good position,” he said.

The return of Bundee Aki gives them punch in the centre. He will link up with Peter Robb who yesterday announced a one-year contract extension.

Jarrad Butler again captains the side in what will be John Muldoon’s final away match for Connacht. The 2016 Pro12 winning skipper is named on the bench for this one.

Duffy said the players were really disappointed with the loss away to Ospreys last weekend and are keen to bounce back.

“The positives are we’ve been through it now, we’ve had that experience now, it’s in the bank, and when we go forward again for the next challenge we’re in a better space for it,” added Connacht’s forwards coach.

WARRIORS:

S Hogg; T Seymour, A Dunbar, S Johnson, DTH van der Merwe; P Horne, H Pyrgos; A Allan, F Brown, Z Fagerson; S Cummings, J Gray; R Harley, C Gibbins, M Fagerson.

Replacements:

G Stewart, JBhatti, SHalanukonuka, K McDonald, C Fusaro, A Price, F Russell, NMatawalu

CONNACHT:

D Leader; N Adeolokun, B Aki, P Robb, M Healy; J Carty, K Marmion; D Buckley, T McCartney, F Bealham; U Dillane, Q Roux; E Masterson, J Butler, E McKeon Replacements: S Delahunt, P McCabe, C Carey, G Thornbury, J Muldoon, C Blade, T Farrell, S Ili.

Referee:

Frank Murphy (IRFU)

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