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Connacht head coach Andy Friend has slammed Bulls head coach Jake White, saying his utterances before last Friday’s United Rugby Championship game were disrespectful.
White said that players only joined the Irish province in order to secure a contract elsewhere. Those statements clearly came back to bite the 2007 World Cup winner, as the 2016 PRO12 champions dominated to win 34-7.
It was Pretoria’s second consecutive setback, while Connacht got off to a winning start after a 33-21 loss to Cardiff in round one, but most of the post-match focus was on what the Bulls coach had said. “It’s not water off a duck’s back because it happens too much, in my view,” Friend told reporters. “So it’s just another comment that you store and go ‘Righto, that’s what people think.’
“To me, it was just an ill-informed comment, but yeah listen, they mount and it does build a little bit of frustration.
It’s something that we are very much in control of and something that from a squad point of view, we are saying ‘Well, we’ve got to change their views.’
“We can only do that with our performance both on and off the field. And that’s what we intend to do this season. “Friend added that they are actively seeking to influence perceptions about the province, both on and off the field, through their results.
“We talk about three things that we think can change other people’s belief in how they look at us,” he added. “One is to be a winner. That certainly helps, but it’s not just a winner on the scoreboard, you’ve got to be a winner in other things too in the way that you conduct yourself and the way you play the game.
Story By: Norvisi Mawunyegah