Sunday 18 March 2018

Connacht eye TV inspiration

David Kelly

David Kelly

If Connacht needed any extra motivation ahead of their Heineken Cup opener in Italy this weekend, then the TV premiere of 'The West's Awake' on TG4 this evening (9.30) will amply suffice.

A breathless trek through their debut campaign last season, Kieran Hartigan's stunning documentary may do for Connacht what the seminal 'Living with Lions' did for the Lions brand.

That Connacht lost 14 games in succession before an emotive victory against Harlequins summed up what it felt like to be a supporter, player and coach.

Offered unlimited access in an era when other provinces are more guarded, Hartigan expertly captures the passion of a franchise who remain isolated in more ways than one.

And, viewed through the prism of Eric Elwood's tears, it confirms that Mr Connacht simply had no more to offer his homeland as he prepares to step down at the end of the current campaign.

This season could be a turning point for Connacht as they strive to maintain the balance between being plucky outsiders and serious operators.

The team's greatest tribute to themselves and their coach will be to ensure that there is less romance this season; just the hardened goals of achieving at least three wins in Europe.

Irish Independent

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