Monday 11 December 2017

'If our season is over on May 7, what's it all been for?' - Connacht's John Muldoon

Connacht captain John Muldoon. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Connacht captain John Muldoon. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Connacht captain John Muldoon says he is desperate to lead the province to a first trophy and cap a historic season for the Westerners.

The Guinness Pro12 high-fliers turn their attention to the Challenge Cup this weekend as they travel to France to take on Bernard Jackman's Grenoble on Saturday night.

Pat Lam's side are within touching distance of their main season goal of securing a place in next year's Champions Cup through the league, but this week they have a chance to book a home semi-final and a tangible reward for their hugely successful season to date.

"It's great to be involved in a knockout competition. It's a one-off game and an one-off opportunity. That carrot of a home semi-final is dangling in front of us and we're really looking forward to it," experienced skipper Muldoon said.

Rude

"Personally, and from a provincial point of view, we've never won a trophy and we'd love to get our hands on a trophy. We've put ourselves in a good position and it would be rude not to try and take a home semi-final.

"If we finish the season on May 7, it will be a disappointment. I spoke in the dressing room after the Leinster game, said: 'It's nice to be here, have the win and it's nice to be celebrating, but if we finish on May 7, what's it all been for?'

"We want to push on and be there at the business end of things. The best thing is that we've got our destiny in our own hands. We're not waiting or hoping that Leinster win to get us into the Champions Cup.

"If we're good enough, we'll be there at the end of May. It's an exciting couple of weeks ahead."

Connacht coach Lam has been boosted by the return of Kieran Marmion and Jake Heenan who missed Friday's defeat to Ulster, but the quarter-final has come too soon for Nathan White, Jack Carty and Tiernan O'Halloran.

Meanwhile, the provinces are on alert after Leicester Tigers confirmed that Irish winger Niall Morris will leave Welford Road at the end of the season.

Irish Independent

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