Oh, how much easier it is to look optimistically at this season after a game like last weekend. I had more than a little trepidation facing into Friday evening. Sure, they had a few injuries, but so did we. They were resting their best scrum half but it seemed ours only had one arm. Whether they have been playing well coming into the derby or not, Ulster have traditionally been able to outmuscle Connacht and drag a result out of the game. When Ulster have been on form, they’ve often ripped Connacht to shreds. And Ulster had been on form so far.
Connacht 7 – Leinster 6
Rarely have we seen a game of finer margins. Against Edinburgh I never really felt we were in danger, but against Leinster tonight I’m not sure I ever really believed we were winning.
What does winning mean – Part Deux
A year or more ago now I asked what does winning mean to this Connacht team. Due to the current injury crisis there is a growing debate on the Connacht Clan specifically about the Newcastle game tomorrow and what can be expected from the Challenge Cup this season, which relates to this question. There are a lot of interesting factors at play here, which I want to spread out into a more general discussion of winning.
The game against Glasgow was as frustrating a performance as Connacht have put in all season. For the first twenty minutes Connacht absolutely dominated Glasgow in the scrum and lineout. While the best early occasion for points was needlessly wasted, it still seemed as if it was only a matter of time before Connacht started crossing the whitewash and putting away the league leaders. For all their undoubted qualities Glasgow were missing a few players and had lost ten away games in a row. Although they are still riding high and are basically everyone’s second team, this is not a vintage unit – there was every reason to believe that Connacht were capable of a win.