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
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 16 13 0 3 61
Munster 16 13 0 3 59
Ospreys 15 11 0 4 55
Scarlets 16 12 0 4 53
Ulster 14 9 0 5 43
Glasgow Warriors 15 8 0 7 41
Cardiff Blues 16 8 0 8 37
Connacht 14 6 0 8 28
Edinburgh 16 4 0 12 21
Dragons 16 4 0 12 20
Treviso 15 2 0 13 11
Zebre 13 1 0 12 9