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Connacht Deserve More Respect Than The Doom And Gloom Over-Reaction

Connacht Deserve More Respect Than The Doom And Gloom Over-Reaction
By Conor O'Leary
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What have you done for me lately?

I wouldn't blame a Connacht rugby fan if they decided never to read a sports page again. Every single headline focused on their team is telling fans that they should be extremely worried and downtrodden about their prospects.

Headlines that talk about gloom, or slumping to an early crisis aren't a real reflection of what's happening in Galway. It's yet further proof that we have a tendency to over-react to one event, that our memories don't extend past last week, and that Connacht never really had the respect that they deserve. Still.

Just two games ago, Connacht dazzled against Leinster in claiming the PRO12. They did it with style, with substance, and they thoroughly deserved it. Connacht did not become a bad team over night - nor, did they become a good team over night. There was tangible signs of improvement from when Pat Lam came on board.

The idea that their season is run after two losses is laughable. I point to Leinster's start to the season for Joe Schmidt's first season - losing three of their first four - before going on to win the Heineken Cup. In fact, Leinster haven't won the first two games of their season since 2006. So it's safe to say that Connacht can turn it around.


They are good enough, the reasons for their losses are fixable. If you didn't believe in the value of preseason, their late game collapses are showing you how important it is. Connacht improved from week one to week two. They should have enough to beat Zebre next week, and by then they will be raring to go. The week four game against Scarlets is when the real test begins.

Two weeks aren't enough to make definitive judgements on any teams - be it a positive or negative judgements.


Connacht are the PRO12 champions. They are full of young talented players. They earned our respect with their triumphs last season.

It's worth showing them that respect through their two defeats.

I'm staying on the Connacht bandwagon, I'll save a space for you when you return.


See Also: How Worried Should We Be By Connacht's Poor Start To The Pro12 Season?

Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

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