Connacht Man of Steel Keen to Iron out Errors

Daily Mail (London), December 8, 2011 | Go to article overview

Connacht Man of Steel Keen to Iron out Errors


Byline: by ADAM REDMOND

THERE is a feeling out west that Connacht are getting a raw deal from officials, but defence coach Mike Forshaw believes the players must ensure referees don't influence results.

On the back of an eightgame losing run, the province are preparing to take on Gloucester this weekend in the Heineken Cup -- a fixture which presents Connacht's best chance of a first tournament win.

The Premiership visitors, too, are enduring a rough patch with just one win in seven, but according to Forshaw, Connacht must get their house in order first.

'I think one thing we've got to fix is our execution. We're getting ourselves into positions to put teams under pressure and our execution has let us down a little bit,' said Forshaw.

'Frustrating' is a word that crops up quite often in the conversation and it's easy to see why. The former rugby league star has spent 18 months installing a steel curtain in Galway as Connacht's first defence coach and recent blips have begun to dent the metalwork.

Last season, his first with the province, Forshaw brought down Connacht's points against average from 25 per game the season before to 20 in the league, while improving the tries-against stat from three to two.

The fact that they played four more games in Forshaw's debut campaign only reinforces the effectiveness of his craft.

While those figures are improving again this year (points average is 18.8, tries against is 1.6) some mental errors against Ospreys and Treviso have cost the team eight points in the PRO12. But that doesn't fully explain the current run of losses. …

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