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Aki back is timely boost as Connacht switch attentions to Champions Cup

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Aki back is timely boost as Connacht switch attentions to Champions Cup Aki back is timely boost as Connacht switch attentions to Champions Cup

By JOHN FALLON

CONNACHT coach Pete Wilkins said they will need to get over their bitterly disappointing late 24-22 loss to Leinster and turn their attentions to Bordeaux-Bègles in the Champions Cup on Friday night at the Sportsground (8pm).

His team, having come from 11 points down with 16 minutes left to take a 22-19 lead into the dying moments, were stunned at the finish when they lost a lineout with the clock in the red and paid the price when Leinster countered and Ciaran Frawley got in for a try to snatch it.

“You know, we’ve talked all season about you get what you deserve,” said Wilkins. “Yeah it’s it’s really frustrating. I think rugby is a game like that where there’s that many small moments and blocks in the game that if you get enough of them you come out on the right side of it.

“But you know what, I thought we deserved it, and I thought just the way we responded to Leinster’s positive periods of momentum, the way we responded to the yellow cards, the way we responded to the scoreboard when we went behind on that.”

Wilkins and his management team have had a difficult task lifting Connacht this week after that gut-wrenching defeat but they now face into two tough Champions Cup games with a trip to Saracens to follow on Saturday week.

“I felt like we had done enough,” added Wilkins. “I think the biggest frustration is that we bounced back so well from those challenging moments within the game, not to get one final go of bouncing back, and that’s obviously the nature of the game but that’s something we’ll have to process. But incredibly proud. We’ve two huge games coming up in the Champions Cup so we’ll be disappointed but we’ll have to move on.”

Pictured: Connacht’s Darragh Murray on the charge against Leinster during Saturday’s URC encounter at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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