Elwood: Connacht on track to reach targets

Picture: SPORTSFILEEric Elwood

Following Friday night’s RaboDirect PRO 12 win over defending champions Ospreys, Connacht head coach Eric Elwood believes his charges can achieve the targets they have set for themselves for the season.

That victory lifted Connacht to ninth place in the league table, one place behind where they finished last season.

Willie Faloon crossed the home side’s only try in the first half while Dan Parks contributed 17 points from the boot ensuring the Welsh outfit paid the price for a lack of discipline on the night.

It was the perfect response from Elwood’s men who went down 25-15 to Scarlets the previous week and the coach was pleased with the intensity his players brought to the contest.

“We were playing against a good team who beat Ulster last week – their first defeat at home – and we out-played them,” Elwood said.

“And that was the type of intensity we’re trying to train at and play at.”

Elwood will step down as Connacht coach at the end of the season with former Blues boss Pat Lamb set to take over but after three years at the helm he wants to end his time at the province on a high and believes Friday’s win has put them on the right track.

“We’ve set our own targets and goals and points that we’re looking for and this win has gone a long way in putting things right.

“We have an opportunity next week in Cardiff and then we come back the following week at home to Zebre.

“So there’s still good challenges, good opportunities ahead of us and certainly four points tonight will help.”

The former Ireland outhalf’s final season in charge hasn’t been helped by an ever-growing injury list and Friday’s win came at a cost with a number of players looking doubtful for Friday’s meeting with the Cardiff.

“We have a few concerns,” Elwood admitted. “We lost Nathan (White) in the first half with problems to his neck and shoulder.

“Tiernan (O’Halloran), we lost early with a medial ligament in his knee. And then Eoin’s (McKeon) ankle went at the end.

“So obviously, we’ll patch these guys up, re-assess and see where they’re at and hopefully they’ll be available for next week”

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