Saturday 29 April 2017

Connacht can go all the way - Masterson

Connacht's Eoghan Masterson: 'We have shown that if we can perform well we can match any side'. Picture credit: David Maher / Sportsfile
Connacht's Eoghan Masterson: 'We have shown that if we can perform well we can match any side'. Picture credit: David Maher / Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Eoghan Masterson is adamant that Connacht can win the Challenge Cup this season - but first they have to get out of the hole they have dug for themselves and get to the quarter-finals.

Connacht's last gasp 21-18 defeat in Brive has left them with an uphill task to qualify when they take on Russian newcomers Enisei-STM at the Sportsground on Saturday in the final round of pool games.

Brive are in control of the pool and they travel to take on Newcastle Falcons who, after their shock defeat in Russia at the weekend, may be focusing on their Aviva Premiership relegation battle.

Brive are a point ahead of Connacht in the pool but Pat Lam's men will go through if the two sides finish level on points, as they have an edge in the head-to-head ties. A bonus point win over the Russians by Connacht and a failure by Brive to get five points in Newcastle would be enough for Pat Lam's men to go through.

And Masterson feels his team can get through the game, and indeed go all the way - even though Connacht have lost six of their last seven matches in all competitions.

"A trophy would be massive for us, and I think we are very capable of winning that competition," said the 22-year-old back-row.

"We are contenders to win it. Last year we went away to Gloucester in a quarter-final and narrowly lost by one score - and they went on to win the competition.

"We have shown, in the Pro12 as well, that if we can perform well we can match any side.

"We just need to get our stuff together this weekend, produce a performance and we will take it one game a time.

"Hopefully we can get to that quarter-final."

Irish Independent

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