Press Pass: Ready for Connacht
Get the latest from Senior Coach Senior Everitt as he spoke to media ahead of Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship fixture against Connacht at Hive Stadium (Saturday 11 November, kick-off 7.35pm).
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On Hamish Watson and injuries
“It’s a blow because he got player of the match against the Lions and he was doing pretty well against Leinster.
“Unfortunately he got that head knock pretty early and he did well to carry through until half-time. Losing a British and Irish Lion and a guy who has been in form is a loss to the team but it’s a great opportunity.
“Connor Boyle came on at half-time against the Dragons and he could have walked away with the player of the match from those 40 minutes.
“It’s a great opportunity for the guy. Let’s see if he can stake a claim to keep that No.7 jersey – that’s going to be his challenge.”
On facing table-topping Connacht
“Every week is a battle in the URC. We saw how Connacht can go with ball in hand in the first 40 minutes against us last season when we played them here.
“They had a good comeback against Ulster so it’s a team who doesn’t go away. We know they’ve got that fight within themselves and we know it’s not going to be an easy team to play against.
“We were disappointed with our performance from the weekend and we need to look at that. It was extremely disappointing to lose like that when we had opportunities.
“The boys will be keen to bounce back and show what they can do against an unbeaten Connacht team. Every team is beatable, however, and we will be going out to get the win on Saturday.
On the search of an 80 minute performance
“The more the team plays together the better [we’ll get]. We will try to get consistency in our selection so we can build cohesion.
“It’s not been easy across the last few weeks as we had a different team against the Dragons to our last friendly against Bath. Then we had new arrivals and another two new players last week.
“The more the team trains together and plays together – the better we’ll get. If you look at how we played against Leinster and you talk about 80 minute performances, the effort was there but it was just our inaccuracy.
“Sometimes it’s not about the number of inaccuracies or penalties, it’s about where you are conceding them. Unfortunately that played into their hands because we had dominance for the first twenty minutes and the last twenty.
“We just weren’t good enough in the middle part of the game as far as the error rate was concerned. We’ve had a chat about it as individuals and they need to look at themselves and see where we can fix it.
On Ben Vellacott’s return to the squad
“Yes, Ben is back available. We are very happy to have him back but I’m also happy with the performance of Charlie Shiel. We are blessed in that area.”