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02nd Oct 2021

Jake White left looking foolish after his dismissive Connacht comments

Patrick McCarry

Jake White

You come to Connacht and you take them for granted, you’ll eventually get got.

The United Rugby Championship is throwing up some great storylines after only two weeks of action. Surly Jake White getting his comeuppance after some dismissive comments? Yup, that box has been ticked.

The former Springboks head coach is now with the Bulls and still telling it like it is. In his brusque manner, White delivered a pre-match interview in Galway, on Friday night, that you can only hope the Connacht boys are replaying today.

The Bulls headed West after their opening day loss to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium. White spoke with former Munster forward Marcus Horan ahead of the game, at The Sportsground. Asked what he knew of Connacht, White declared:

“A lot of Leinster guys, who come down from Leinster because they didn’t get contracts up there; they come down here.

“It’s very similar to a couple of franchises we have in South Africa. When they don’t get contracted by the big unions, they go down to the small provinces and try and find a way to get noticed by the bigger provinces.

“As I said, we’re used to playing that sort of opposition and it will be nothing different. They’ll be looking to front up, especially after last week when they lost against Cardiff.”

White had also been asked about Connacht’s strengths, but offered none.

Connacht did start with four players that were from Leinster, but they have produced several local talents in recent years, such as Jack Carty, Caolin Blade and Tiernan O’Halloran.

Many of their fans would have been stung by the comments about them being “small”, especially when you consider they won the PRO12 back in 2016.

As for the game itself, the Bulls raced into a 7-0 lead but were blown away by a surging Connacht comeback. White may point out that three of Connacht’s tries – shared by Tom Daly and Tom Farrell – came from Leinster lads, but the Connacht faithful could care less.

Following the game, White did some griping about referee and TMO calls, and bemoaned the wet and windy conditions in Galway.

“There’s no doubting that Connacht know how to play on this field,” he told News 24. “The wind was pumping and the rain came down.

“When you lose the toss here, it really becomes like cricket. You struggle to get up the hill. The ground is sloped that way and it’s also the direction the wind comes from.

“I don’t think people appreciate how tough it was to carry the ball out of your half. It’s different when you score tries running down the hill. The reality is we weren’t good in the conditions and we weren’t accurate.”

Not much craic for the World Cup-winning coach in the West of Ireland.



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