Published: 11:19 | 11/1/21

Friend laments missed opportunity

Connacht head coach Andy Friend was left to lament his side's poor decision-making which saw them squander a glorious chance to snatch a win in the dying seconds over rivals Munster in Galway on Saturday.

After being outplayed for most of the match, the Westerners had trailed by 16-3 with two minutes left on the clock and looked dead and buried.

However, a Peter Sullivan try followed by a superb Jack Carty conversion from close to the touchline meant they still had the chance to secure an unlikely victory with the final play of the game.

They broke from deep inside their own half and got within inches of the Munster line before an infringement saw Nick McCarthy join Rory Scannell in the bin for the visitors.

Connacht opted for a five metre scrum. It seemed inevitable that they would score, but they inexplicably chose to keep it tight despite having a two man overlap.

Man of the match Tadgh Beirne forced Kieran Marmion to knock-on and the game was lost and with it, very possibly, Connacht's chances of making this season's final.

Speaking afterwards, Friend struggled to contain his disappointment.

"With 20 to go, 16-3 you’re not in it," he said. 

"I never doubt their fight, we stayed in it, we score that try and kick a beautiful goal. 

"And we go 90 metres and we believe. But then we’ve a scrum against 13 men and we weren’t smart. 

"It’s tough to work it out and bugger it up at the end.

"We talked about it. It shouldn’t take us 20 minutes to work out we can win a game of football. We are starting to unlock the power of that mind, when we do we will be really good."

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