Monday 23 April 2018

Connacht's unreal hunger was recipe for success

Wasn't that some win by Connacht in Toulouse? It is one of the great Heineken Cup results of all time, a real story of the underdog having its day.

There will be coaches in all sports who say to youngsters that they too can follow Connacht's example and achieve what everyone else thinks is impossible.

They showed a hunger that was unreal. Their line-speed was awesome all day. They didn't care for their own welfare -- they threw themselves into tackles, bounced straight back on their feet and dived straight into the next tackle.

That's not just fitness -- the hunger has to be there, you have got to really want to do it, and everyone around you on your team has to have the same attitude.

It is an awesome win for Connacht but it is a great result too for Irish rugby. Connacht have needed to deliver a big one like that ... the battle now will be to back it up.

I always felt that Connacht needed to start producing more of its own players if they were to establish themselves, and they are doing that now.

The likes of Robbie Henshaw, Kieran Marmion and Eoin Griffin have been great additions, and then you have guys like John Muldoon, Michael Swift -- he is a 'naturalised' Connacht man at this stage -- and Gavin Duffy, who have soldiered for years. They deserve that win but they will be the first to say they have to back it up.

I was delighted too for my good friend Frank Murphy -- we played together for Irish schools, UCC, Con and Munster -- and a few other lads there with who I have played with.

It was some win.

Irish Independent

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