Thursday 8 December 2016

Let's have a real go - Muldoon

John Fallon

Published 13/05/2016 | 02:30

Connacht captain John Muldoon and Glasgow’s Jonny Gray survey the Pro12 trophy ahead of tomorrow week’s semi-final at the Sportsground. Photo: Sportsfile
Connacht captain John Muldoon and Glasgow’s Jonny Gray survey the Pro12 trophy ahead of tomorrow week’s semi-final at the Sportsground. Photo: Sportsfile

Connacht, traditionally good starters and poor finishers, won only their fourth game in 21 matches in the league in the month of May when they defeated champions Glasgow Warriors 14-7 last Saturday.

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Connacht have lost 17 of the 21 games they have played in May and, ironically, secured their first win in the final month of the season when they defeated Glasgow 33-7 back in 2006.

The other wins in the final month of the campaign came in 2008 when they defeated Ospreys 24-20, while last season they defeated Zebre 40-10 in Parma in their final away match of the league series.

Next weekend's clash with Glasgow will be only the third time they have played the same team in successive matches in the league.

And Connacht will be bidding to defeat the same team in succession for the first time.

In March 2011, Connacht defeated Aironi 11-6 at the Sportsground and then just over two weeks later they went down 25-13 away to the Italians.

The only other time Connacht have played the same opposition in successive matches in the league was earlier this season.

Pat Lam's men lost 21-19 away to Scarlets on January 10 but then on January 30 they scored a 30-17 victory over the Llanelli side at the Sportsground.

That was the start of a six-match winning run, three away from home, which ultimately sent Connacht through to their first Guinness Pro12 semi-final.

Now the focus is on tomorrow week's rematch with the champions Glasgow Warriors and captain John Muldoon has warned that the holders will be going to the limit to hold on to their crown.

"They will feel they can do an awful lot better than the last day. But we would feel that way as well. The conditions didn't suit either team so it was a matter of grinding out a win.

"It was a tough match and could have gone either way in the end but, thankfully, we came out the right side of the result.

"Now we just need to regroup and have a go at them again, it's a totally different match.

"I've no doubt they will feel there are areas they can improve on, but we'd feel the same and reckon we can also do better," said Muldoon.

Irish Independent

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