Connacht seek to regain momentum

Despite defeat last week, Pat Lam’s side are hopeful of bouncing back against Cardiff

Connacht’s Craig Ronaldson: recalled to the backline for Cardiff Blues’  visit  to the Sportsground. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht’s Craig Ronaldson: recalled to the backline for Cardiff Blues’ visit to the Sportsground. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 

To be beaten by 2014 league finalists Glasgow is no reason to be despondent. Still, the first defeat of the season last week brings Connacht back to some kind of reality for the visit of Cardiff.

Coach Pat Lam makes eight changes, among them scrumhalf Kieron Marmion returning with wing Niyi Adeolokun and centre Craig Ronaldson also into the backline.

Dave McSharry took on a large physical workload last week so he’s rested with Ronaldson giving the team kicking options at inside centre.

Galway-born prop Ronan Loughney earns his first start of the season while prop Nathan White also comes in to the front row with Mick Kearney and Quinn Roux starting behind in the pack.

Willie Faloon returns at openside flanker.

“Kieran (Marmion), Niyi (Adeolokun) and Willie (Faloon) return to the starting line-up after a break last week to recover from niggles and are all raring to go,” said Lam. Marmion has never been anything other than in that mode this season.

Cardiff captain Matthew Rees returns to strengthen the Cardiff front row as one of eight changes from last week. Tight-head prop Taufa’ao Filise also makes his first start while Gethin Jenkins packs down at loosehead.

Highest scorer

SamoaSam Warburton

Three changes in the backs include Adam Thomas at full back, with the league’s current highest scorer Rhys Patchell moving to out half. Dan Fish returns on the wing with fit-again Gavin Evans in midfield.

Connacht now face different challenges such as not just playing well week to week but regularly getting on the right side of results,

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