Connacht 2016/17

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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby simonokeeffe » April 16th, 2017, 2:17 pm

Cardiff have Zebre at home and Dragons away s looks like 8th for Connacht which would mean a trip to Quinns by the look of the prem table/remaining fixtures
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby hugonaut » April 17th, 2017, 3:38 pm

I read an article this morning where Pat Lam was quoted as saying that Connacht are 'not far off' from their title winning form of last year, and that it is a case of 'fine margins' when it comes to losing games, their position in the league, and basically anything bad that has happened to them.

Maybe he believes it, maybe he doesn't. In either case, I don't think it's an accurate appraisal. I think he's looking at it through a greased lens, and the evidence would suggest that such a forgiving analysis doesn't help in resolving that many problems. An unkinder way of saying that would be that he's kidding himself.

Firstly, in the context of the league, you're talking at this stage about 20 games, split evenly between home and away. There are plenty of opportunities to even things out if you have the ability to take those opportunities. It's not a four, five or six game tournament where the impact of one or two events in a single game has a huge effect.

Their average loss has been by almost 14pts [13.9]; if you take away the two outliers at either end of the scale – the big 5-41 loss at home to Glasgow at the start of the season and the 25-22 away loss to Zebre earlier this month, the average loss has been by over 12 points [12.6]

Losses
-36 vs Glasgow
-21 vs Ospreys
-7 vs Scarlets
-11 @ Leinster
-5 @ Newport
-17 @ Ulster
-7 vs Munster
-22 @ Ospreys
-11 @ Glasgow
-3 @ Zebre
-13 vs Leinster

Their average win has been by just over 14 points [14.1], and again, if you take away the two outliers [the 47-8 win over Treviso in December and the 22-19 win @ Edinburgh], the average winning margin has been by just over 12 points [12.1].

Wins
+13 vs Edinburgh
+5 vs Ulster
+11 vs Cardiff
+39 vs Treviso
+6 @ Cardiff
+5 vs Newport
+15 @ Treviso
+30 vs Zebre
+3 @ Edinburgh

To be frank, there's nothing unfortunate or unfair about where Connacht are in the league. Their average win is by a 14 point differential, as is their average loss. They've lost four games by 7 points or less ... but they've won the same number by the same margin. They were winning and losing games in the same proportion before Lam announced his departure as they have been since.

With two games to go as defending champions, they're eighth in the league with nine wins from twenty. It's been a really disappointing title defense and they have completely failed to maintain any momentum or build on their excellent last season.
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby ronk » April 17th, 2017, 5:55 pm

Lam is hardly gonna say that the difference was the post RWC hangover that affected other provinces while they had a cracking start.

They also were hit hard by losses:Henshaw, Ah You, Muldowney, Naoupu White retired at the start of this season.

Aki was injured for a key chunk of this season.Even with the trouble we caused their attack they still cut us open a few times and got a decent score. They're not the same team as last season but it's not a huge margin because of the way they play.

One win in the interpros this year must account for a fair chunk of their league deficit relative to last year.
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby simonokeeffe » April 17th, 2017, 5:56 pm

The big differences are to my mind there being no world cup, teams have figured them out/gotten used to them and or that style of play and they didnt strengthen the squad (if anything it weakened)

Boschoff was their big signing and hes hardly played
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby paddyor » April 17th, 2017, 6:09 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:Wake up Connacht. Playing the pattern for Pat Lam's pride is madness. One or two grubbers or chipkicks (without waiting for a pending penalty) would totally screw-up any defensive pattern against you. Sticking stubbornly to playing wide to wide means a competent disciplined defence each of whom can tackle, will force your mistakes and pick up the scraps.

Burt and Leo out-thought Lam and his stubborness ensured Connacht went down when they might have won.

This was a bit like the Glasgow game a few weeks ago. Connacht had something like 83% possession in the first half and went in 13-15 up at the break. They lost 35-24 with 73% possession. They've the most carries, metres gained and passes in the league but they are the worst team for turnovers conceded(60 more than the top 4 in the league). There scrum has gone backwards this season too meaning every other knock on sees them giving up yards or points from penalties. I always get the impression that they work a lot harder for their scores than their opponents.

I think the turnovers conceded stat will count against TOH for Ireland selection. He had 3 on Saturday, tends to average 2 a game. I don't think you can put that all down to tactics. I think they're a bit sloppy with the pill. Look at 2 of the tries they conceded to us, similar happened in the Glasgow game and IIRC Munster sealed their win with a score off a turnover in the Christmas interpro.

From the pro 12 site, Turnovers conceded and missed tackles
TC MT
Leinster 279 354
Munster 292 335
Ospreys 278 209
Scarlets 313 254
Ulster 287 314
Glasgow 319 377
Cardiff 288 313
Connacht 347 333

Their defense isn't noticeably worse than anyone elses, but they're out there on their own for coughing up the ball.
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby johng » April 17th, 2017, 6:27 pm

simonokeeffe wrote:The big differences are to my mind there being no world cup, teams have figured them out/gotten used to them and or that style of play and they didnt strengthen the squad (if anything it weakened)

Boschoff was their big signing and hes hardly played

That's a huge one for me. Teams have figured how to get around their high risk style. Big reason why we won the other night.
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby kermischocolate » April 17th, 2017, 6:54 pm

Not seen much of Connacht this season but in their away game to Glasgow (as paddyor says) they had the vast bulk of possession yet lost. Glasgow were simply much more efficient (for once).
Reminded me of the game in The Sportsground 2 seasons ago- Connacht huffed and puffed with all the possession, Glasgow attacked 4 or 5 times and ended up with the 5 points. Last season was the opposite- Connacht were lethally efficient, took teams apart and their defence held on.
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby simonokeeffe » April 17th, 2017, 6:58 pm

johng wrote:
simonokeeffe wrote:The big differences are to my mind there being no world cup, teams have figured them out/gotten used to them and or that style of play and they didnt strengthen the squad (if anything it weakened)

Boschoff was their big signing and hes hardly played

That's a huge one for me. Teams have figured how to get around their high risk style. Big reason why we won the other night.


To pat myself on the back as I said pre game bomber ball has us far better equipped for fast semi loose games. But also more teams are playing wide wide games so even if they dont play that way themselves theyre much more used to it (4g pitches play a part too)
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby ronk » April 17th, 2017, 10:11 pm

They're playing to their strengths. They can't beat defences playing up the jumper stuff. Regardless of where they finish it's still working for them, just not by as much.

Some days they'll beat us playing that way, but more often we'll beat them.

We've built up our offloading game on a more conservative path, but that suited us because we we starting with more than plan A.
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby wixfjord » April 17th, 2017, 10:16 pm

ronk wrote:They're playing to their strengths. They can't beat defences playing up the jumper stuff. Regardless of where they finish it's still working for them, just not by as much.

Some days they'll beat us playing that way, but more often we'll beat them.

We've built up our offloading game on a more conservative path, but that suited us because we we starting with more than plan A.


Working for them? Based on what? They're ahead of Edinburgh, Dragons, Treviso and Zebre. Back to where they were previously. I don't think you can ignore results and table position and say it's working!
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Re: Connacht 2016/17

Postby ronk » April 17th, 2017, 10:47 pm

They're 21 points ahead of Edinburgh so not really with them.

They lost 7 matches last season, I count 5 by the November international window this year.
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