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Competition For Places Pleases Bradley

Competition For Places Pleases Bradley

Connacht coach Michael Bradley expressed his satisfaction in the aftermath of Friday’s 22-7 Magners League victory over the Dragons in Galway, and was particularly by the westerners’ new found strength in depth.

Bradley was able to empty his bench during the tie as Connacht held the Dragons scoreless for the entire second half and capped off the win with a late drop goal from Australian-born debutant Tim Donnelly.

“Overall I’m delighted with the effort from the 22. It’s good to be able to bring on a strong bench as well. You couldn’t get a better situation from a coaching point of view in that so many players are competing for places,” Bradley admitted.

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“That is a healthy situation. We have strengthened the squad over the summer and hopefully we’ll get a run now without too many injuries.”

Connacht did not have it all their own way against the Welshmen and Bradley was disappointed about the seventh-minute try they leaked to Dragons full-back Martyn Thomas.

“I think we had a bit of a shaky start, we missed a few tackles and let the Dragons come at us which was the cause of their try in the first half, but when we got that bit right we were very good then going forward.

“We got some very nice phases in the first half, kept the pressure on them and we got a very nice total on them at half-time in leading by 19-7,” he added.

“The objectives in the second half were to restrict penalties to insure that they weren’t going to use so much of a kicking game and it worked very well for us.”

Connacht, who are fourth in the league table after the first full weekend of matches, face the Llanelli Scarlets at Stradey Park on Friday night – keen to erase memories of their 19-10 defeat in Llanelli last May.