Muldoon calls on Connacht to eradicate familiar errors
John Muldoon has had a familiar feeling in recent weeks and it isn't a good one.
The Connacht captain has played in all sorts of teams during his time at the Sportsground and this one felt different. That was until the finishing line approached and their old failings started to creep in once again.
If the westerners are to beat Gloucester and prolong their best-ever season for another week, they will need to go back to what they were doing at the start of the campaign.
Since their last trip to Kingsholm for their European Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat, they have developed a worrying habit of giving teams a lead and attempting to reel it in. They always come close, but invariably their pursuit ends with the opposition getting the spoils.
"Towards the last quarter of the year, we've been a bit loose at times. We've given away big leads, gotten a bit loose and had to chase the game so hard to try and get there," Muldoon said.
"We leave ourselves a mountain to climb. It happened a few times earlier in the year too but we didn't give away too much of a lead but it is a bit frustrating, we dropped the heads a couple of times after scoring. It can be easily fixed.
"There is a sense of disappointment in terms of how we played in the first half (against Ospreys), we can't go over to Gloucester next week and reproduce that rugby for 40 minutes - we won't win the game.
"So, collectively we need to regroup and cut some of those stupid errors. At times, we compounded an error with another error.
"That's the way we were playing a couple of years ago and it has filtered into our game over the last few weeks, so we'll have to cut those errors out.
"We're thin on the ground at the moment, so I don't think we'll be bashing lumps off each other so it's a bit more time looking at the video rather than out on the field."
Connacht lost 14-7 on their last visit to Kingsholm, but Muldoon believes they can overturn that on Sunday with the prize of a Galway shoot-out against France's seventh-placed team at stake.
"If we go over with a bit of confidence and take the positives out of the way we played against Ospreys who were looking for a fourth try for the bonus for a home semi-final and their disappointment leaving Galway was down to how we played in the second half," he said.
"It's all to play for, we've nothing to fear going to Gloucester. We'll be underdogs, but it's winner takes all, I don't know what motivation the French team would have - I'm sure they'll give it a crack, it's hard to know."