Maksymiw Targeting Connacht Opportunity


Lock Joe Maksymiw is looking to take his opportunity as he makes his first start of the season against Connacht in Galway on Saturday evening.

Maksymiw returns to The Sportsground where he spent two years prior to his move to Newport.

The 26-year-old has appeared off the bench in both URC games so far this season and is hoping to take his chance and stake a claim now he has a starting birth against his former club.

The Dragons second row department is well stocked with Maksymiw joined by Ben Carter, Joe Davies, Max Williams and new recruit Will Rowlands as options for Dean Ryan.

And Maksymiw praises his fellow locks and admits the battle for the jersey’s are competitive, which he believes is vital to progress at the region.

“We've got a really good group of second rows here and we all work really well together” said Maksymiw.

“Fair play to Carts (Ben Carter), he had a great year and was outstanding last season and Will (Rowlands) has come in and his stats have been fantastic and you know what big Joe (Davies) offers.

“To learn off each other and compete is vital, then you have to take your chance when it comes.”

The Men of Gwent travel to Galway for their first away trip of the season in round three of the United Rugby Championship.

Dean Ryan’s men are looking for their first victory of the campaign after two narrow losses at Rodney Parade to start the season against Ospreys and defending league champions Leinster.

And Maksymiw is targeting Dragons first victory of the season against the Irish province at the Sportsground on Saturday, 5:15KO.

While the Derby born second row is looking forward to facing his old colleagues and admits Dragons are confident they cane leave Galway with the victory.

“I really enjoyed playing there and I am looking forward to going back. They’ve got a crowd back now so there should be a bit of atmosphere and it will be good.

“They are a really tight group of boys who play for each other” said Maksymiw. “Connacht make it a really tough place to go and they make it a fortress with some big results over the years; when I was there we beat Montpellier in the Champions Cup for example.

“It's a tough place to go but we can take confidence from the performance last week to go there and get a result.

“We are all massively disappointed that we lost to Leinster and that probably says something. We were all in the changing room down and silent. We feel it was a real opportunity that we didn’t take, and I guess that shows development.

“I think we are improving and you can see that in the performances, we just need the results to go with it now.”

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