Connacht Eagles Exit Cara Cup 2-0 After Beating Ulster A

In the second match of the Cara Cup, the Connacht Eagles defeated Ulster A 44-21 on March 20 at Union Point Sports Complex in Weymouth, MA. The Connacht Eagles also beat the New England Free Jacks 38-7 in match one.

Connacht will return to Ireland, while Ulster will face the Free Jacks on Sunday, March 24 at 6:30 pm EDT at the Union Point Sports Complex.

Match Recap

Connacht took an early lead with a penalty from Conor Dean and tries from Conor Hayes and Jonny Murphy. Dean converted the second for a 15-0 lead. The Eagles extended their lead with another Murphy converted try for a 22-0 lead at the break.

Ulster started fast after the break with a converted try Johnny Mc Phillips to cut the lead to 22-7.

Connacht responded with a try by Sean O’Brien from short range, another by Hugh Lane after multiple phases, and a third by Robin Copeland after a line break by Colm de Buitlear, with Dean slotting the conversion to lead 39-7.

Ulster A winger and CD Group Man of the Match, Graham Curtis, scored a brace of tries, with replacement Bruce Houston converting both to narrow the deficit to 21-39.

Connacht answered with a final try by Conor Hayes, who raced down the touch for a try to push the lead to 44-21.

Ulster A coach Kieran Campbell commented after the game:

“In terms of attack, we created a lot of opportunities tonight and Connacht defended well in pairs, but we also made some significant line breaks and just didn’t finish those. So we need to tidy up in those areas and have a little bit of work in our D as well.”

Reflecting on the value of the Cara Cup experience so far, Campbell said:

“It’s hugely valuable for us. We’ve got a lot of young guys who are coming through our pathway at Ulster. It’s been a great experience for them so far. Learning how to cope with playing away from home, learning how to develop in terms of playing against a really good Connacht side tonight, you know with a lot of experience in their team. For us, it’s hugely valuable. I think it’s nice to get the opportunity to get to play in America, we’re looking forward ourselves to Sunday now as well with hopefully a big crowd.”

The Connacht Eagles will now return home, while Ulster A will face the New England Free Jacks on Sunday before departing.

Match Comments & Squads

Connacht Eagles: 1. Jordan Duggan 2. Jonny Murphy 3. Conor Kenny 4. Peter Claffey 5. Joe Maksymiw (c) 6. Sean Masterson 7. James Connolly 8. Robin Copeland 9. James Mitchell 10. Conor Dean 11. Conor Hayes 12. Sean O’Brien 13. Corey Reid 14. Hugh Lane 15. Colm de Buitlear 16. Declan Adamson 17. Conan O’Donnell 18. Neal Moylett 19. Cian Huxford 20. Stephen Kerins 21. Luke Carty 22. Oran McNulty

ULSTER A SQUAD: 1 Peter Cooper 2 Zack McCall 3 Ross Kane 4 JJ McKee 5 Jack Regan 6 Caleb Montgomery 7 Marcus Rea (C) 8 Joe Dunleavy 9 Michael Stronge 10 Johnny McPhillips 11 Jack Owens 12 Ben Power 13 Stewart Moore 14 Graham Curtis 15 Iwan Hughes 16 Claytan Milligan 17 Callum Reid 18 Corrie Barrett 19 Bradley Luney 20 David McCann 21 Charlie Clarke 22 Lewis Finlay 23  Bruce Houston 24 Ben McCaughey

(All times EST)

Free Jacks 7 Connacht Eagles 38Recap, Preview
Saturday 16th March
Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA

Connacht Eagles 44 Ulster A 21– Recap, Preview
Wednesday 20th March, 7.00pm
Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA

Free Jacks v Ulster A
Sunday 24th March, 6.30pm
Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA

Free Jacks v Munster A
Saturday 6th April, 4.00pm
Irish Cultural Centre, Canton MA

Munster A v Leinster A
Wednesday 10th April, 7.00pm
Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA

Free Jacks v Leinster A
Sunday 14th April, 5.00pm
Harvard Mignone Field, Boston MA

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