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The three foundations of the Connacht Way | Andy Friend

Connacht coach Andy Friend joined Joe Molloy on Off The Ball on Sunday to discuss the identity o...

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

18:25 10 Oct 2021



Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

18:25 10 Oct 2021


Connacht coach Andy Friend joined Joe Molloy on Off The Ball on Sunday to discuss the identity of his team.

Jake White is the coach of the Bulls in South Africa. The Bulls are one of the South African teams in the Ultimate Rugby Championship.

A few weeks ago, he made the mistake of dismissing Connacht before his side suffered a 34-7 loss to a team of Leinster rejects. Connacht may be the smallest of the Irish provinces in a rugby sense but the quality of the team and performances they have put in over recent years made them worthy of greater respect.

Connacht Coach Andy Friend takes pride in the identity of his team.

"We haven't stipulated an exact style of play," Friend said.

"We've played the Connacht way. This year we came in and said let's put a few labels to that. Every time we train, every time we play we want to see these three things. The three things are fast, we want to be a team that plays with tempo because historically that's when Connacht was at their best and we're a different type of squad to other squads.

"We often come up against bigger men, bigger squads but if we can move them around like we did against the Bulls we believe that can become our advantage...fast seems to suit the way we play.

"The second part is relentless, which I think is very much a West of Ireland trait, a Connacht trait. To live in this part of the world you've got to be relentless. You've got to be tough, you've got to keep going, you've got to find a way to do something different.

"We felt as a coaching group that very much was a part of the Connacht DNA.

"The third part of that identity is adaptable...We live in an environment where the weather can do something in the first half and something else in the second half so we need to be able to adapt. We play against teams from South Africa, teams from Scotland, teams from Wales.

"We need to be able to adapt to the different game styles."

Connacht have endured different results so far this season. The inconsistency has restrained them but the principles of what Friend is trying to do will remain in place. His staff and team are committed to playing to their principles, regardless of what the likes of Jake White says.

Munster have the talent to play expansive rugby | Niamh Briggs

 

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