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Saracens 26 - 8 Connacht - Signs of improvement

By Connacht Rugby
August 28 2011

Connacht played Saracens against a backdrop of huge office buildings and a setting sun at the Honourable Artilary Company (HAC) Grounds in the middle of the City of London.

George Naoupu and John Muldoon both won early turnovers but it was the home side who struck first with a penalty from outhalf Farrell.

Tiernan O'Halloran

Connacht's Tiernan O;Halloran

Matthew Jarvis’s boot was called on several times in the opening exchanges and the young outhalf, celebrating his 21st birthday, made no issue with some huge clearance kicks. Despite going down 11 0 after half an hour Connacht’s forwards were winning every tight exchange, Johnny O’Connor, Michael Swift and Matthew Jarvis all making huge hits and turning over ball with some ferocious rucking but the whistle of referee Sean Davey didn’t blow Connacht’s way and the visitors found themselves 14 3 down at halftime with only a late Mathew Jarvis penalty accounting for Connacht’s points.

A shortened halftime break due to fading light, with both teams staying on the pitch, meant there was only a short break in the action and Connacht were soon back in the thick of it with some huge hits from John Muldoon, Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy and George Naoupu while the backline fired well with the little ball they received but Connacht were made pay with a high penalty count from referee Sean Davey swinging the game in Saracens favour.

The Connacht backs linked smoothly with some slick hand from Duffy, Fa'afili and Griffin leaving Tierna nO'Halloran free to sprint in for Connacht's only try of the game. Late trys from winger James Short and flanker Andy Saull sealed the game for Saracens with the final score of 26 8 not reflecting the hard graft put in by Connacht’s defense.

The Connacht coaches will have garnered a lot from the 3 preseason matches and getting a new squad to gel together will be seen as more important than the results as Eric Elwood’s team head off to Benetton Treviso next week for the start of the RaboDirect PRO12.

SARACENS: Alex Goode; David Strettle, Adam Powell, Brad Barritt, James Short; Owen Farrell, Neil de Kock; Rhys Gill, Schalk Brits, Carlos Nieto, Steve Borthwick (capt), Mouritz Botha, Justin Melck, Andy Saull, Ernst Joubert.

Replacements used: Charlie Hodgson for Farrell, Ben Spencer for de Kock, Deon Carstens for Gill, George Kruis for Botha (all half-time), Duncan Taylor for Powell, Jamie George for Brits, Petrus Du Plessis for Nieto, Mouritz Botha for Bortwick, Will Fraser for Melck (all 55), Nils Mordt for Barritt, Mako Vunipola for Carstens, Jackson Wray for Joubert (all 60).

CONNACHT: Gavin Duffy (capt); Tiernan O'Halloran, Eoin Griffin, Henry Fa'afili, Brian Tuohy; Matthew Jarvis, Frank Murphy; Dylan Rogers, Ethienne Reynecke, Rodney Ah You, Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, John Muldoon, Johnny O'Connor, George Naoupu.

Replacements used: David McSharry for Fa'afili, Denis Buckley for Rogers (both 50 mins), Ray Ofisa for J O'Connor, Adrian Flavin for Reynecke (both 54), Paul O'Donohoe for Murphy (56), Thomas Anderson for Swift (60), Niall O'Connor for Jarvis (62).

Referee: Sean Davey (England)

Connacht 1st home game is on the 10th September in the Sportsground on College Rd and tickets can be purchased from or from



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Saracens 26 - 8 Connacht - Signs of improvement
Discussion started by Connacht Rugby Supporters (IP Logged), 28/08/2011 01:46
Connacht Rugby Supporters
Connacht Rugby Supporters
28/08/2011 01:46
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