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Connacht improve but still suffer another Euro hiding

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Connacht improve but still suffer another Euro hiding Connacht improve but still suffer another Euro hiding

Saracens 55

Connacht 36

By JOHN FALLON

CONNACHT may have scored more points against Saracens on Saturday than they did away to any English side in 30 trips across the Irish Sea, but the outcome of this Champions Cup tie is familiar as the quest for a first win there since 2009 goes on.

The five tries scores against Saracens keeps their slim interest in the post-Christmas games alive, not least as the fifth placed team in the pool will enter the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup.

Jack Carty has seen it all in his 200 games for Connacht but even he was flummoxed by the mixed emotions emerging from the StoneX Stadium on Saturday as his side ran in five tries at the difficult north London venue but still suffered another hiding in the Champions Cup.

Carty grew up in Roscommon supporting Connacht and willing them to make it to Europe’s premier event, so when they do manage to get there they need to perform, something they failed to do when going down 41-5 at home to Bordeaux-Bègles in Galway on the opening weekend of the competition.

Carty, who became the sixth Connacht player and second from Roscommon after Denis Buckley to hit the 200 games mark, wasn’t selected in the matchday squad for the debacle against Bordeaux and turned in a quality display on his recall for this one in what is only Connacht’s eighth season in the Champions Cup.

“I didn’t have that when I was a young fella when I was watching Connacht,” said Carty. “I would have had to watch Leinster and Munster and the fact that there is now a team that kids within Connacht can be proud of and watch, and maybe that’s what they want to do when they are older, the longer we are in this competition, qualifying for it on our own merit, it’s organic in terms of what it can do for young kids and the club in general.”

Pictured: Jack Carty who’s recall to out-half led to an improved display by Connacht in their Champions Cup away loss to Saracens.

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