Connacht set for Tongan boost

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 19:22
Large fetu uvainikolotonga Large connacht celebrate630 Large mike mccarthy connacht

Tonga wing Fetu'u Vainikolo is set to return to the Connacht fray for Saturday's home clash with Newport Gwent Dragons.

Tonga wing Fetu'u Vainikolo is set to return to the Connacht fray for Saturday's home clash with Newport Gwent Dragons in Round 13 of the Pro12.

The squad have been boosted with the recent return to fitness of centres Mata Fifita and Kyle Tonetti. Both will play for their respective clubs this weekend - Bucanneers RFC and Lansdowne RFC - and are expected to be available for selection as the province looks to the European Cup competition next week.

Miah Nikora is also set to return either this week or next week after suffering a minor groin injury in the lead up to the game against Munster.

There were a few knocks picked up during last Saturday's defeat to Leinster. Wing Matt Healy, who made his debut in Dublin, suffered a hand fracture and is expected to be out of action for three to four weeks.

Forward Johnny O'Connor also picked up an injury and his involvement this weekend is in doubt while Dave McSharry and Michael Swift suffered knocks at the RDS, but have both been given the 'all clear' and have returned to full training.

As the province head into a big month of games both in the Pro12 and European Cup competitions, head coach Eric Elwood said the first game of 2013 is an important home fixture for the team.

"This game against Dragons is a vitally important one for the club. We're side by side at the bottom of the table so this is a huge game for both teams. Obviously, with us at home, the pressure is on us to win it,” he said.

“The key thing is that we learn from the mistakes of the last two derby matches that we've had. And the main focus for us this weekend is about getting everything right ourselves to secure the win."

While Connacht achieved a double win over the men from Gwent last season, they were defeated 14-3 by the Dragons back in November.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 22 19 0 3 86
Leinster 22 18 0 4 85
Scarlets 22 17 0 5 77
Ospreys 22 14 0 8 69
Ulster 22 14 1 7 68
Glasgow Warriors 22 11 0 11 58
Cardiff Blues 22 11 1 10 53
Connacht 22 9 0 13 44
Edinburgh 22 6 0 16 31
Treviso 22 5 0 17 23
Dragons 22 4 0 18 23
Zebre 22 3 0 19 19