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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 15 November, 2019

Team taking shape, but individual errors to blame for Connacht struggles, says McKeon

‘I think a lot of lads have to look at themselves.’

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT BACK ROW Eoin McKeon has urged his teammates to cut out the individual errors that have blighted Kieran Keane’s first season in charge of the westerners.

McKeon has sat out much of the season to date due to hamstring and calf issues, but he has featured heavily in recent weeks. Coincidentally, Connacht’s season has also fallen asunder at the same time as they exited the Challenge Cup and have now lost five of their last six games.

McKeon admitted the team’s display to Ospreys last week was not good enough, but he thinks they have the ability to get things back on track tomorrow (FRI) when they travel to Scotstoun to face the conference leading Glasgow Warriors.

“I think a lot of lads have to look at themselves and look at the individual errors, which generally a lot of the time has cost us from eking out these games,” said McKeon.

“As a team I think we’re going in the right direction in terms of form and systems, but it’s probably just individual errors and lapses in concentration that’s letting us down at times.

“That’s solely down to the player and him doing his own review or getting his prep right before the game to minimise those errors.

Glasgow is one of the toughest places to go and play away. If anyone is off their game at all it will be exposed pretty soon, Look at Leinster one of the top form teams going over there at the start of the year and got a good score put on them.

“We were in a similar position last year going over towards the end of the year and we put in a really good performance so we’re looking to do something pretty similar this year.”

Last week McKeon started in the No 8 shirt for Connacht at the Liberty Stadium, and after the retirement of John Muldoon at the end of the season he will do battle with the incoming Robin Copeland to fill that shirt on a full time basis.

The Galway native pointed to the influence Muldoon has had on his career and says he’ll be missed hugely.

Eoin McKeon, John Muldoon and Robbie Henshaw celebrate Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I was trying to think about it the last day but I don’t know how many games we played together but it’s probably up in and around the hundred mark or so. He has been there since I’ve come on the scene.

“He’s had a massive effect on me taught me a lot when I was a bit younger about relaxing and being able to deal with nerves and anxiety before games.

“You can see him now the way he’s passing some of those traits onto the younger lads coming through too, but not so much to me in the last year too as I’ve gone from being a young lad to an older fella. He will be a big loss.”

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Declan Rooney

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