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Connacht looking to keep impressive run going in South Africa

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Connacht looking to keep impressive run going in South Africa Connacht looking to keep impressive run going in South Africa

By JOHN FALLON

Irish prop Finlay Bealham has emerged as a doubt as Connacht bid to notch another win on Saturday against the Bulls in Pretoria (3pm) after picking up an injury in the 13-12 victory over the Sharks last the weekend.

But Connacht defence coach Scott Fardy is hopeful that the tighthead prop will be fine as they prepare to take on the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, saying the Irish international was put in a protective boot as a precaution after last weekend’s win in Durban.

“As far as I know it’s just a precaution,” said the former Australian international. “They put them in a boot pretty quickly these days, just to deal with ankles, feet, and other things, especially when you are as big as Finlay is! I’d wear two boots myself if I could to look after my ankles. But I think at this stage it’s just precautionary with Finlay.”

Fardy, who joined Pete Wilkins’ management team this summer as he returned to Ireland, having spent four seasons playing for Leinster up to 2021, said nobody had been ruled out of Saturday’s game at this stage as they began preparations for it at their base at Umhlanga, north of Durban.

Winger Andrew Smith and centre Cathal Forde came off with injuries in the win over the Sharks and are being monitored at this stage as Connacht bid to continue their excellent start to the URC season.

Fardy said the win over the Sharks, Connacht’s fifth in 10 games in South Africa, has given them a huge boost on tour as they now face into a clash with a Bulls side who have returned from a four-match European tour where they beat Cardiff and Zebre, and lost to Ulster and Edinburgh.

“I think it is a massive win. It’s a very difficult place to come and play after a long week of travel,” added Fardy. “Lots of distractions and things, and I thought the boys applied themselves really well at the start of the week.

Pictured: Cathal Forde who picked up an injury in last weekend’s win over the Sharks.

 

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