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O'Halloran and O'Brien doubts as Connacht bid to halt losing run

The western province have a single win in the last six games and will end their season against Glasgow and Leinster.

Image: Alex Davidson/INPHO

CONNACHT ARE SWEATING over the fitness of Tiernan O’Halloran and Sean O’Brien as they seek to get back to winning ways against conference leaders Glasgow this weekend.

O’Halloran sustained a foot injury in the chastening defeat to Ospreys last Friday, while O’Brien sustained a nasty cut to his head and is going through head injury return to play protocols.

Coach Jimmy Duffy called for an improved performance in Scotland this weekend and insisted the Irish international back is still in with a chance of being fit.

“His (O’Halloran) foot swelled up after the game but they put him in a boot and the medics are looking after him,” said Duffy.

“He was bouncing around the place yesterday, so I think it was just precautionary. Hopefully he will be in a good space for the weekend.

“Any player that is a doubt we wouldn’t take a chance on anyway, but by all accounts his name was in the mix yesterday. Fingers crossed he’ll be available.”

After last weekend’s 39-10 defeat at the Liberty Stadium head coach Kieran Keane said his team were consistently bullied and physically bettered, but on reflection Duffy thinks there was no lack of effort on display. He urged patience from supporters after a below par campaign.

“After the game you might be disappointed with areas and you may identify an area that’s a problem for you, but when you look back at it I don’t necessarily think (we were bullied).

“Just after half-time a couple of silly things cost us dearly and against quality opposition you are going to pay the price. Nothing majorly wrong in the major departments, just disappointment really across the board.

In the last couple of years winning the Pro12 the expectation was very, very high. But things happen afterwards.

“We’d never been in that position before, we’d never won a trophy, we’d never transitioned out so many key players, we’d never had a pre-season with seven people away on international duty. They were massive learnings for us as a club and I think we are stronger for it.

“It will take some time and I understand the supporters may be frustrated, but I think people have to see what’s coming, where we are going and some of the performances that we have put together.”

On a positive note lock Andrew Browne took a full part in training following his shoulder injury this week, while Irish international Bundee Aki is available after sitting out last week’s Ospreys clash.

“Andrew took a full part yesterday in our units sessions with a bit of collision work so he was right in the mix for that which is great to see him around.”

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Declan Rooney

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