Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Sports

Lam lets fly at officials but Connacht have only themselves to blame for letting win slip away

Published

on

The departure of Rodney Ah You through injury cost Connacht their dominance in the scrum on Friday night.

Cardiff 17

Connacht 16

The Pro12 competition is a lot better these days, every game seems to matter that little bit more this season. Friday’s tussle at the Arms Park was a fine example, Cardiff won the game with a last minute try that won’t be forgotten by the club’s supporters for quite some time. That same score, Connacht players and management crestfallen at the sight of three vital points slipping through their hands.

The sense of despair soon turned to outrage towards the officials, as two dreadful calls cost Connacht dearly during the final flurry. A period of play that started with a baffling decision by the visitors to kick the ball down field to the Blues with 90 seconds remaining, finished 68 penalty-interrupted phases later with a try for the home side.

Those four penalties during the nine minutes of desperation helped keep Cardiff alive in the contest as for most of the attack, they were aimlessly going back and forth across the field with Connacht making tackle after tackle.

The 84th minute penalty in the sequence was the most disputed one, and Pat Lam’s ire was such that he decided to take a laptop into the press conference to clearly illustrate how bad a call it was. Touch judge Leighton Hodges spotted hands in a non-existent ruck, having missed a blatant knock-on, and the fact that no ruck had formed, and called the penalty.

A ridiculous call, neatly illustrated by Lam’s unusual decision to bring some video evidence to the media scrum more than half an hour after the game had ended. Yet, the coach’s clever work in that regard might well have been undone by the rest of the press conference, as he then raised a previous incident involving Welsh official Hodges that seemed out of context with events that had transpired on the evening.

At this point we really need to get to grips with the entire reality of the game rather than the reality of those last few minutes. The Connacht team and management were right to be fuming about a couple of the final decisions. The standard of officiating at a key point was pathetic at best, referee Lloyd Linton and the much maligned Hodges made calls that were below an acceptable standard.

Yet in the previous 80 minutes, their officiating was hardly the talking point in a game where Connacht’s first-half dominance had not been reflected on the scoreboard. Rodney Ah You was enjoying arguably his best ever game in a Connacht shirt, dominating at scrum time and making some big hits in broken play. His scrum work was wreaking havoc.

Connacht led 10-3 at the break thanks to a Jake Heenan try from the back of a rampaging maul but they should have had more, three fruitless visits to the home 22 proved costly. The most notable of them came at the very end when Connacht had won a free-kick from a Cardiff scrum five metres from the home line.

Those who rested easy for a second safe in the knowledge that Connacht would take the scrum in that situation and cause untold damage watched in horror as the otherwise on-song George Naoupu had a moment to forget, taking a quick tap and go while the rest of his team were standing still. It unsurprisingly ended in a turnover.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Bragging rights go to NUIG Maree on opening weekend

Published

on

NUIG Maree's Eoin Rockall jumps to shoot as Grant Olsson of Moycullen tries to block in the Super League meeting between the sides in NUIG last Saturday. Photo: Ed Shiel.

NUIG Maree made it four straight wins over local rivals Moycullen in the Men’s Super League to get their 2021/22 campaign off to a winning start in the Kingfisher Gym last Saturday.

A tense game between two nervous-looking sides went the way of Charlie Crowley’s charges, though both sides will know there is plenty of scope for improvement in the weeks ahead.

NUIOG Mystics also made a winning start to their season, blowing away the challenge of the Marble City Hawks down in Kilkenny, and with a side featuring seven players who featured for Maree in the Women’s Super League two season ago, in addition to two string US imports, Paul O’Brien’s side could be dark horses for league honours this season.

Titans mase a welcome return to the national league on Saturday but their trip to league newcomers, Drogheda Wolves, ended in defeat, though jack Considine’s already young squad was hit by a raft of injuries ahead of the game, though taking a long-term view, the club is handing a lot of young players valuable league experience, which can only benefit Titans in the years ahead.

Maree  70

Moycullen 68

Super League basketball fans got a scintillating return to action Saturday night in NUI Galway as Moycullen and Maree played out a nail biter, with Maree scraping by as winners 70 to 68. writes Cian Nihill.

After an enthralling back and forth encounter, the local derby and season opener came down to the final minutes when six straight Grant Olsson points for Moycullen had the nominal visitors trailing by one with 24 seconds left and possession.

It would be Olsson again who took on the responsibility and, having dragged his side to within touching distance of the win, had to endure the heartache of seeing his 3-point attempt narrowly miss.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Hibs get off the mark with derby win over Rangers

Published

on

Mervue United goalkeeper Daire Geraghty gets his clearance away despite the challenge of Loughrea's Kieran Bane in Mervue's 5-2 league win over their visitors in Fahy's Field last weekend. Photo: Iain McDonald.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

Recent seasons have proved to be somewhat of a struggle for Hibernians, but despite regular positioning in the lower regions of the Premier Division, they have always survived and in the current campaign with four teams to be relegated from the 12-team league, matters look like they will be very competitive for a number of teams to avoid the drop.

Just about six weeks into the new season, just four points separate the nine teams outside the top three and indeed just one point separates the bottom seven sides.

The action is competitive and indeed three of those lower positioned teams fashioned a first league win of the campaign over the weekend, with Hibernians the most impressive with a 5-0 success over Corrib Rangers.

Dean Cullinane, Shane Walsh, Jason McPhilbin, Jason McDonagh (pen) and Alex Murphy with his first senior goal all found the range for the Bohermore side on Sunday morning.

Maree/Oranmore were also convincing winners with a 3-0 away success over Tuam Celtic as Luke Smyth, Andrew Connolly and Pricewell Diala all found the range for the visitors.

Kerill Hardiman and Ryan Noone got the goals as Colemanstown United also fashioned a first win with a 2-1 success over a Corrib Celtic side for whom Shane Concannon got their lone reply.

Even at this early stage of the season, the challenge for Premier Division title looks to lie between three sides as Mervue United, Athenry and Salthill Devon appear to be the likely contenders.

Mervue United were making it five wins on the trot as they maintained their top position with a 5-2 win over Loughrea at Fahy’s Field. As ever, leading scorer Enda Curran found the range with a brace, as Jonathan Hannifin, Hakeem Ryan and Aaron Molloy also hit the target in a convincing success. Kieran Bane was on the mark with both goals for the visitors.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Aki returns for daunting trip to Thomond Park

Published

on

Connacht’s Matthew Burke braces for a tackle from Aaron Wainright of the Dragons in last weekend's game in the Sportsground.

BY JOHN FALLON

The return of Bundee Aki will give Connacht a badly needed boost after their collapse against Dragons last weekend as they face into two crucial derby clashes against Munster this Saturday in Thomond Park (7.35pm)and then against Ulster in Aviva Stadium on Saturday week, October 23 (5.15pm)

Aki is set to become the first British and Irish Lion to play for Connacht in the professional era and Peter Wilkins, who has moved to a more senior role as well as taking charge of attack, said that Aki is gunning for action.

“The way we are playing gives him that little bit more freedom to express himself, and also for him to feed off the opportunity of other attackers around him. I think the way we are playing will suit him. He’s enjoying training and the details that goes into that. It’s enormously exciting for him and it’s great for us.

“Bundee’s specific role over the past few weeks was to get up to speed with the way we are trying to play in attack and defence. Obviously, there are way more changes to the way we are attacking so it has been him getting up to speed with that.

“There have been different avenues to that, there has been work off-field, one-on-one meetings with us as coaches, obviously he has had catch-ups with the players, with the leadership groups and he has been able to be on the grass at training in the past few weeks, observing, and then training with the group. So he has had a really nice layer of introductions to what we are trying to do.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending