When you're eight matches deep into your accumulator, games like Leicester vs Connacht are usually your kryptonite. They are the type of games of which you can't really use form or names on a piece of paper as reference to your odds. Leicester are definitely on an upwards trajectory, and look to be the type of snub nosed, aggressive side that brought them so much success in the past. Connacht always remain a threat and have a history of knocking out English sides at this stage of European competitions. Both sides don't give up easy too, so I expect it to go the distance...
Ben Youngs Deserves Respect
If you look back to our first recaps in October, you could see that we... Sort of... Threw Ben Youngs under the bus as a has been. However, throughout the Six Nations, he was one of England's few shining lights and in this game he once again proved what over 100 games of international Rugby teaches you. He was both electric and immensely assured. I often overlook his game as frantic and erratic when under pressure, but boy did he have some pressure to deal with in this game. During a twenty minute stint in the second half, Connacht absolutely blew away Leicester in the loose and Youngs singlehandedly grabbed back dominance of the game. A couple of cracking box kicks followed by a darting run in behind and subsequent mega - pass led to Leicester finding their rhythm again. He put in a clinic and made Marmion look amateur at times.
Is George Martin The Future?
Well it sure looks like it! Look at the embarrassment of riches that England have at under 25 in that back row... Curry, Willis, Barbeary, the other Curry... The list goes on! Martin looked a million bucks in this game, hitting guys for six, carrying like an absolute behemoth and often destroying players in the breakdown. He's a real all rounder, but to have a six who's so dynamic with ball in hand is incredibly exciting. If you had a back row of him, Barbeary and Simmonds, you'd struggle to find a team even remotely possible of containing them.
Bright Spots For Connacht
Although the scoreline perhaps doesn't suggest it, Connacht were so difficult to put away in this match. During the second half, I had a bit of squeaky bum time around the hour mark as Connacht seemed to be dominating possesion. Their territorial kicking pinned Leicester back and their strike runners kept popping up in all the right places; they made countless breaks around the fringes and it looked impossible to defend. Unfortunately they couldn't match Leicester's pure physicality throughout the full 80 minutes, but this Connacht side sure does look a threat around the park.
Is Weise The Scariest Rugby Player on Earth?
Yes... What more do you want me to say?
Ben Youngs - Currently bang in form and looked world class today. His service looked much improved and he really hurt Connacht on the counter... His contribution effectively swung the game in Leicester's favour.
George Martin - What a tough cookie! He's a formidable presence around the pitch and carried like a tank.
Jasper Weise - Not since Chabal have I seen a player crave contact so consistently. Even when there were three on one's, he just ran over that one... The guy's terrifying.
Jack Carty - Maybe a bit harsh when based on the full 80 minutes, but his missed penalty kick meant that Connacht never took the lead in the final third.
Kieran Marmion - Again a little harsh but Youngs was all over him and he made some silly little errors around the fringes. However, he did look electric in the first twenty minutes.
Zack Henry - Definitely not a Full Back, Leicester looked much improved when he went off.
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