Thursday 24 August 2017

Muldowney desperate to end Connacht's poor run of form

Connacht's Aly Muldowney during squad training
Connacht's Aly Muldowney during squad training
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Aly Muldowney's assessment of Connacht's season to date and his own form is a realistic one.

The second-row has enjoyed an excellent campaign on a personal level but that won't count for anything unless the province finish in the top six.

Connacht have stuttered lately, losing three games on the bounce, and Muldowney admitted that the players must take responsibility for the slump.

"We've made a lot of silly mistakes that we can't afford to make again from here on in," said the English-born forward.

"We have a very young squad who are learning all of the time but it's important that the more experienced players like myself step up and lead them in the final part of the season.

"I've been happy enough with my form this season but it won't count for much if we don't achieve what we set out to do.

"We're fully focused on that top six finish and that's been our aim since day one. It would mean so much to the entire squad.

"There's a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes with people around the squad. It's been a massive collective effort from everyone involved," he added.

Despite the dip in form, the 31-year-old, who is Irish qualified through his father who is from Kildare, is staying focused on the positives and he knows how vital it is that Connacht maintain their excellent home record.

"We only have four games left this season and we know how important each one of those are. It's a tough run-in. We have to make home advantage count," Muldowney said.

"We've only lost twice there all season - once in the league and once in Europe. We have to make sure that teams don't come to our place and win.

"It has already been the club's most successful league season, we've had the most wins ever but there's still a lot to play for and a top-six finish is vital.

"There's a great buzz around Galway at the moment. People are coming up to you in the streets telling you how much they're enjoying the rugby and wishing you luck. It's brilliant."

Ulster pose a major threat as they bid to complete the double over the Westerners but Muldowney is adamant that his side will be prepared for the "physical" test.

Connacht have only beaten Ulster once in the last 17 meetings but Muldowney is eyeing another Irish scalp this afternoon.

"They're a good side who are very aggressive. We know that we'll have to bring our 'A' game if we are to beat them. If we can cut out the silly mistakes, we can do that," he said.

"We've beaten Munster and Leinster at home this season so we'd love to add Ulster to that list."

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