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Connacht boss delighted with bonus point after 'poor' performance against Munster

Jack Carty’s late try in the 19-14 defeat meant that Connacht got one point for their efforts last night.

peter-wilkins-and-andy-friend Connacht head coach Andy Friend (right) with defence coach Peter Wilkins before last night's game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Andy Friend admitted he was relieved to finish with a losing bonus point after an error-strewn performance from his side against Munster.

The precision which saw them come back from the dead against Gloucester the previous week deserted Connacht, especially in the lineout, although a Jack Carty try seven minutes from time raised hopes among the home fans in the capacity crowd of 8,129 of another late escape.

Carty’s late try in the 19-14 defeat meant they got one point for their efforts, but the coach called for an end to the errors that have blighted his team in recent weeks.

“The way we played I’m delighted we got something out of it,” said Friend. “I said it down there in the sheds, we were poor. We just made too many errors again. So to sneak a point that’s probably pleasing at the end.

“The errors, the turnovers, we weren’t clinical. We had some set-piece turnover, we had some simple kick turnover, we had simple handling errors, it was across the park there. And it’s something that we need to fix pretty quickly.

“It’s more around a simple execution and, whatever we chose to do, be decisive with it and back what your instinct is. Normally that’s going to come off for you. I just felt we gifted too much easy access to Munster.”

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ultan-dillane-dejected A dejected Ultan Dillane after Connacht's defeat to Munster. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Now the Connacht boss has to turn it around for a trip to Belfast where they won last season for the first time in 58 years, but then lost 21-13 in the Guinness Pro14 quarter-finals last May.

“All eyes go on Ulster now, a six-day turnaround and in the middle of that we’ve got Christmas,” Friend added.

“We do want our players to get away and enjoy some time with their families for Christmas but there’s a massive focus now on that trip up to Belfast.”

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John Fallon

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