Tuesday 17 October 2017

Teams will target us, warns Aki

Connacht will look to captain John Muldoon and Bundee Aki to provide the inspiration against Edinburgh tonight. Photo: Sportsfile
Connacht will look to captain John Muldoon and Bundee Aki to provide the inspiration against Edinburgh tonight. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Connacht will this evening bid for only their second-ever double over Edinburgh in the league when they take on the Scots at Murrayfield.

Connacht's only double came in the 2003-'04 season when they won 11-3 in Galway and then secured a bonus-point win in a 32-17 success at Meadowbank in Edinburgh.

But this is a fixture which has tended to be divided with neither side managing a double since 2008-'09 when Edinburgh won 27-14 in Galway and 38-8 at home. Last season these two sides won the away fixture, the campaign before saw two home victories, the previous one resulted in two away wins and the season before that resulted in two home triumphs.

Connacht, who have won on two of their last three visits to Edinburgh, won 14-9 earlier this season and victory this evening would keep them on top of the table.

Connacht have won on four of their 12 visits to Edinburgh, with the home side winning the other eight. There have been two draws between the sides, both of which came in the Sportsground in successive seasons in 2006-'07 and the following year.

There have been 14 games between in Galway, with the outcome split down the middle with six wins each and those two draws. The overall record between them after 26 games stands at ten wins for Connacht, 14 for Edinburgh and two draws.

Centre Bundee Aki, perhaps Connacht's player of the season, said their fate in the league and in Europe is in their own hands but he has warned that the toughest tasks are still ahead of them.

"It's only going to get tougher and we have just got to keep picking up what we have left on the field. We just have to keep working hard for each other. Teams are going to keep targeting us," he said.

But the 25-year-old from New Zealand scored his fourth try of the season last weekend in the win over Ospreys, believes the best is yet to come from this young side, especially when the weather improves.

"The weather is drying up now. We can only just start getting better from here. You've got to enjoy and embrace that weather.

"Playing footie in the summer is the best thing ever so you've got to embrace it," he said.

Irish Independent

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