John Muldoon departs the field dejected. James Crombie/INPHO
Bad start

'We didn't fire a shot': Another Connacht loss leaves Keane short of words

But deep in thought.

Sean Farrell reports from the Sportsground

IF YOU CAN’T say anything nice…

Connacht head coach Kieran Keane seemed intent on abiding by that old adage as he conducted a terse post-match press conference after a 15 – 17 home defeat to Pro14 conference rivals Cardiff Blues.

“It’s a bad start to the season,” Keane admitted while hovering above the Brendan Venter-Sireli Bobo watermark for clipped answers.

“(It’s bad) any time you’re one from four… I’m not a dummy, I can count.”

The third loss of the campaign reminded the Kiwi a lot of the first (12 – 18 at home to Glasgow) as Connacht stuttered their way through the first half and trailed 3 – 7 at the interval despite being backed by a strong wind that put about 20 metres on kicks.

“We lost the game in the first half… it was a little bit of déjà vu to the game against Glasgow, similar conditions, similar setup and we didn’t learn too many lessons.”

Seven first-half penalties (13 in total) punctured attempts to build momentum with ball in hand in that opening period. Yet the second half did offer up plenty of silver linings as a 30-phase move was rounded off by Darragh Leader and Shane Delahunt grounded late on to give the western province the lead for the second time in the final quarter.

However, both of those leads were quickly fluttered away and Keane responded to the chance to speak about second half positives with a simple: “yeah, you’re right”.

Ultan Dillane tackled by Rey Lee-Lo James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Pushed to elaborate on where the game was lost, the former Chiefs attack coach said:

“I don’t think we had the right attitude at all. We knew it would be pretty combative against Cardiff, we planned for it, worked hard all week an various things and we were confident we were well prepared and ready to go, but we didn’t fire a shot.

“To lead by three points in that wind behind (us) was clearly never going to be enough and so it proved.”

Connacht face the champions next week in Llanelli and their own reign feels an awful long time ago.

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