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
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 20 15 1 4 75
Munster 20 13 0 7 67
Cheetahs 20 11 0 9 58
Cardiff Blues 20 11 0 9 53
Ospreys 20 8 0 12 40
Connacht 20 6 0 14 34
Zebre 20 6 0 14 32
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 20 14 1 5 70
Scarlets 20 13 1 6 65
Edinburgh 20 14 0 6 64
Ulster 20 12 1 7 60
Treviso 20 11 0 9 54
Dragons 20 2 2 16 20
Kings 20 1 0 19 11