Bryan Keane/INPHO
# Frustration
Andy Friend: 'What you saw tonight is certainly not the team that we want to be'
The Connacht coach was reacting to his side’s 35-22 defeat to Dragons tonight.

ANDY FRIEND, THE Connacht coach, has pinned tonight’s 35-22 defeat to the Dragons on an absence of energy.

After last week’s impressive win over the Bulls, Connacht were expected to back up that victory with a second straight success story. That didn’t materialise, and the frustration was plain to see on Friend’s face.

“Last week it was all smiles in our dressing room and we were celebrating a really good performance,” said the coach. “Eight days on we are sitting here, scratching our heads, saying ‘that is certainly not fast, certainly not relentless and we were not adaptable’.

“We said at half-time that we didn’t feel we had got a foothold into the game. We thought they were clever in slowing the pace of the game down. We wanted it quick. But we did not move fast enough, either.

“Our body language didn’t exude energy and bounce. We discussed that at half-time. There were elements of the second half that were a little bit better but then we had our turnovers, handling errors were just too high and we are sitting here looking at a heavy defeat. That is certainly not the team we want to be.

“Dragons were more workmanlike and more clinical with what they did and they definitely had a greater sense of game control than we did tonight.

“We must pay due credit to the Dragons. They were the better team tonight and they leave here with five points on the back of it.”

For the Dragons, this win proves that last week’s narrow defeat to Leinster wasn’t solely about Leo Cullen’s boys failing to show up.

The Welsh region have improved significantly in the off-season and with a healthier budget than normal, they look more than competitive.

At this stage, given Benetton’s improvement, only one team – Zebre – can be considered a pushover.

The Dragons out-half, Seb Davies, said: “We knew ourselves we were capable of it and it was just a matter of proving it. I think we have built a great squad over the last two years and now I think we are capable of coming to places like this and getting this sort of victory.

“We know we have the game to hurt teams and in the second-half with the wind behind our backs. It was a lot easier to play possession game and off the back of that score some good tries. We want to build on this now against the Stormers.”

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

    Leave a commentcancel