Matt Connolly: Excited for a hard fought battle! Challenge cup preview!
Finally! The challenge cup is back! And boy have we got some crackers lined up! The biggest fixture of the weekend will be played at North Road this Sunday as Longhorns travel all the way from Ireland to West Hull in order to line up against the NCL veterans. Unmissable!
I Caught up with Matt Connolly, the club captain who has been with Longhorns for 4 years, to find out a little bit more about him and his club before the big game against West Hull.
1. For people who don't know much about Longhorns RL, how would you sum up the club in 3 words?
" Driven, Confident, Enjoyable"
2. How would you sum up your clubs domestic performance recently?
"We recently just won our league becoming Champions of Ireland after losing the final the previous two years".
3. Have you had much challenge cup experience in the past?
" Personally and as a club we haven’t had much challenge cup experience except for watching it on TV! One of our veterans, Wayne Kerr, played in the challenge cup with Oldham many years ago!"
4. How would you describe the level and profile of rugby league over in Ireland?
"The level of rugby league is still in development in Ireland but getting better each year, as Ireland is very Union based it’s hard to grab a hold of retaining players throughout seasons. At Longhorns we are trying to establish ourselves as a club with the help of our player coach Casey Dunne. Casey just got back from the World Cup in Australia with Ireland, and has set up a 16s, 17s and 19s team which have played against teams like Scorpions in Wales and Wales RL for those age groups and west England. This has enabled many talented youngsters to understand league and get a taste of it at a young age whilst gaining vital experience. These young players have also been given a chance to be seen and to step up and play for our senior side such as our full back Rob O’meara who has progressed through the 19s system to start regularly for the seniors."
5. Have you heard or seen much about your upcoming opponents, West Hull?
"I personally haven’t heard much about West Hull and I don’t know much of them as a club, I’m sure they are very experienced and full of talent. Here at Longhorns we are very excited and looking forward to the game! We have trained very well over the past weeks in preparation for the game which will be a hard fought battle on both sides! No matter what the result, hopefully both sides will have a pint together after and creating new connections for us with West Hull."
Thanks for taking the time out to speak to GRM!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch highlights of this challenge cup clash which takes place on Sunday 28th January 2018 at West Hull ARLFC.