Rugby

Connacht's Comeback Victory Over Toulouse Tell Us A Lot About The Two Teams

Connacht's Comeback Victory Over Toulouse Tell Us A Lot About The Two Teams

Connacht are back, and will allow returning bandwagoners to jump back on after abruptly leaving after a slow start to the season.

Connacht have now won three games in a row, including beating Ulster - the only PRO12 team Pat Lam hadn't beaten. Their pre-season woes are now firmly behind them, and Connacht look more like the 2015 all-conquering version of themselves, rather than the 2013 leaky defense version - although there was a ten minute period today when Toulouse cut through Connacht like a knife through butter.

Here's what we learned from today's win:

Connacht are back and their style works

The pre-season woes are behind them. We know that, and keeping the ball in hand is working. It was telling that in the post match interview Toby Flood referenced how they kept the ball in hand for the final 90 seconds instead of relieving pressure.

Connacht were criticised last year for not kicking the ball often, but when they did early this season it invited pressure onto them. The best defence is attack

Cian Kelleher could be world-class, IF

Advertisement

I've been lucky enough to go the same school as Kelleher, and have seen him make a mockery out of defenders for years. His stepping ability, including how he glides past runners shows that he has been the best player in his age group for years, and it works on this level.

But, because he's been the best at every level he's played - he's often just kept the ball when others would have passed. Because of this, Kelleher often appears selfish, either not passing, or not able to pass effectively.

It's something that the skills emphasis in Connacht will fix, and when they do - Kelleher could be one of the best wingers in the world.

Niyi Adeolokun keeps getting better

Adeolokun is two years ahead of Kelleher. The flier just ghosts through defenses, and is learning how to be responsible himself. An Ireland cap is surely on the way before the end of the season.

Jack Carty's kicking

Advertisement

One of the biggest negatives for Connacht (and there were some), was Cary's kicking. Eight makeable points were missed, and the switch to Craig Ronaldson should have happened early. Bad kicking at goal has been a trend in Galway for years, and moving to Ronaldson seemed to have fixed that last season. Ronaldson needs to be first choice kicker until Boshoff arrives from Currie Cup duty.

That won't be far away, after Boshoff's Golden Lions were beaten in the semi-final today.

Toulouse

In reality, this win was only notable for the ten-point comeback. It was only a ten-point deficit because of a ten minute period of mistakes from Connacht.

Toulouse are a bad bad team, and couldn't handle the PRO12 champions when they stopped allowing Toulouse to play.

They are a former giant, and don't deserve the respect and aura they still enjoy.

Connacht are now in prime position to qualify for the knockout stages, with two games against Zebre to come, as well as an away date with Toulouse in the final round when they won't have any interest in the competition.

See Also: The Joey Carbery Hype-Train Has Gotten Way Out Of Hand

Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Conor O'Leary
Article written by
"That's what." - She.

You may also like