Connacht eye second win in Pro14 as they host Cardiff

Andrew Deegan to make debut against a Cardiff Blues side that has lost all three games

Andrew Deegan will make his debut for Connacht on Saturday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Andrew Deegan will make his debut for Connacht on Saturday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Preview: Connacht v Cardiff Blues

Sportsground, 3.15pm, Sky Sports

Cardiff are zero from three games this season. They lost at home to both Scottish sides. They lost in Dublin because they failed to realise a weakened Leinster were very beatable on the night.

Not that this information guarantees a home win. Connacht look like also-rans again, with 2015 feeling like a very long time ago. There is no shame in losing, even in Galway, to Glasgow but Bernard Jackman’s well-drilled Dragons easily swallowed them whole last week.

Who is the better-looking team on paper? That would be Connacht but Nick Williams is expected to drive Cardiff over the gain line and they have looked decent with ball in hand despite the losing start to the campaign.

Gritty side

But it should be an evenly matched contest.

“We had a good look at Connacht over their first three games and they’re their usual selves,” said Cardiff coach Danny Wilson. “A gritty side at home who play a fair amount of rugby, which Pat [Lam] has left that imprint in them and they’re playing from quite deep.”

What has changed is outhalf with Andrew Deegan making his debut.

Little is known of the 22-year-old as the Australian arrives from the semi-professional ranks.

If Connacht scouting is up to scratch he should be good enough to guide them to a second victory from four outings. Otherwise the season is stumbling into October well below standards set before Kieran Keane arrived as head coach.

Connacht: D Leader, C Kelleher, B Aki, C Ronaldson, R Scholes, A Deegan, K Marmion, D Buckley, D Heffernan, F Bealham, U Dillane, Q Roux, E Masterson, J Butler, J Muldoon (capt). Replacements: S Delahunt, D Coulson, C Carey, G Thornbury, E McKeon, C Blade, T Farrell, S Ili.

Cardiff Blues: R Williams, A Cuthbert, R Lee-Lo, W Halaholo, T James, S Shingler, L Williams, B Thyer, K Dacey, T Filise, S Davies, D Welch, J Turnbull, J Navidi, N Williams. Replacements: E Lewis, C Domachowski, K Assiratti, G Earle, O Robinson, T Williams, J Evans, M Morgan.

Referee: M Mitrea (Italy).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.