Connacht prop Ronan Loughney deflected any accusations of complacency after the PRO12 champions fell to a six-try defeat as they launched the defence of their crown last weekend against Glasgow Warriors.
It was just Connacht’s second defeat at the Sportsground in more than a year – but the Galway native is confident a renewed focus on their core skills will see them right against Ospreys.
Loughney (31) is one of Connacht’s longest-serving players, and felt preparations had gone perfectly. “People may say there was a bit of complacency creeping in, but from our point of view we had what felt like a good pre- season. There has been a great buzz. We have competition for places and we are in as good a position as we have ever been. There is no excuses there.
“For us it’s about refocusing and getting back to the basics. That’s where our game flows from. We are really good when we get that small detail right within the game. That’s what this training week is all about. It’s a tough week but we’ll be refocusing and trying to get things right this weekend.”
Coach Pat Lam conceded his side looked a little undercooked, having had just one warm-up match, but Loughney isn’t keen to look for excuses.
“We’d be clutching at excuses to say that. We all felt ready going into the game. It may or may not have played a part but I think come game-time we felt we were in a good position. I think it was more inaccuracies on our part. We’ve added bits to our game here and there, but as we’ve always said it’s about us executing and doing our roles well. We weren’t as accurate as we had been in the past and fair dues to Glasgow, they capitalised on any mistakes we made, they really came out all guns firing.” Loughney started at loosehead in last May’s win over Leinster in Murrayfield, as Connacht claimed their first piece of silverware, and is likely to deputise for injury doubt Denis Buckley against Ospreys.
Buckley made his comeback against Warriors following ankle surgery, but he is being monitored by the medical staff due to a concussion he picked up during that game.
And Loughney is keen to quickly make amends for Connacht’s false start. “We’re not getting overly worked up about it. It’s a big game this week for us to try and just put some of those wrongs right.”
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