James Crombie/INPHO Tian Schoeman attempts to tackle Jack Carty.
race for the playoffs

'This bloke beside me controlled the game': Friend singles Carty out for praise after Connacht's late win

Friend’s men secured a late win against the Toyota Cheetahs at the Sportsground on Saturday.

ANDY FRIEND SINGLED out Jack Carty’s impact as Connacht came with a strong finish to claim a vital Conference A win against the Cheetahs in the race for a PRO14 play-off spot.

Carty was the driving force behind Connacht’s come-from-behind victory at the Sportsground as he tamed the howling wind with an excellent territorial kicking game and a return of four out of five from the tee.

The Athlone native showed his recent Ireland call up has not blunted his form, and although he did miss one penalty kick to touch, Friend was impressed with his No 10.

“I thought this bloke beside me here [Carty] controlled the game very well. In the second half with that wind, a couple of those kicks were magic,” said Friend.

Jack Carty kicks a penalty James Crombie / INPHO Carty kicks a successful penalty for Connacht on Saturday. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

“It’s great to have those fellows (in Ireland camp) available to us and it’s not easy for those fellows to come back either.

“They’ve been away with the Irish squad, different game plan, different tactics so to come back in and fit into those things was really important for us, I was impressed with the performance.”

Cheetahs were stunning in the opening quarter where tries from Rabz Maxwane and Louis Fouche handed them a deserved 12-3 lead, with a Carty penalty Connacht’s only reward as handling errors popped up too often for the home side’s liking.

But crucially Tom Farrell and Carty linked up for Farrell’s try 15 minutes from the break and Tom McCartney mauled over the lead try for the home side six minutes after the restart.

Cheetahs looked to have claimed a deserved share of the spoils when scrum-half Shaun Venter sprinted clear from his own 22 to score, but Carty’s second penalty and Jarrad Butler’s late try gave Connacht a key win in their season.

Andy Friend Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Connacht head coach Andy Friend. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

They face Glasgow Warriors in Scotstoun next weekend, while a third conference clash in a row against Ospreys the following week will go a long way to deciding if success or failure will be their ultimate destiny this season.

“It was a really good finish, really pleased with the win, you can be tricked into thinking that that’s a gimme five points but it’s never a gimme,” said Friend.

“They’re a quality football side, they came here to try and get the win as well so for us to go out on the ground in the way that we did was really important for our season, really pleased to take four points out of that.”

Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here:

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel