Tuesday 12 December 2017

Now we need to back that up and get victory next week – Marmion

Kieran Marmion makes a break against Glasgow Warriors
Kieran Marmion makes a break against Glasgow Warriors
Connacht celebrate victory over Toulouse

John Fallon

Man of the match Kieran Marmion says Connacht can't get wrapped up in the excitement of their greatest ever win with a wounded Toulouse gunning for them in Galway next weekend.

But the scrum-half, who crowned a wonderful display with Connacht's only try, said the players appreciate the significance of beating the four-time Heineken Cup champions in their own backyard.

The 21-year-old said the key to their success was sorting out their defence – with the nadir having been reached in Edinburgh the previous week when they leaked 43 points.

"I think we showed a lot of heart out here. We really looked at that coming in and targeted the defence. I think it was huge in getting the win over here," he insisted.

"We had a hard week coming in, we knew we had to really front up to get in with this one. We did that. Everyone is just delighted.

"Our defence worked very well, we only conceded one try close in. They didn't exactly make too many line-breaks.

"I think we adapted well to what he wanted us to do. But the main thing was the heart we showed in the tackle," said the former Irish U-20 player.

He got the touchdown for the opening try after superb approach work by Robbie Henshaw and Fionn Carr, and when the move was stopped a few feet short, Marmion pounced.

"I think Fionn got close enough and I just saw a little gap when I got to the line and just ferreted my way over.

"I was pretty confident that I got it down. I knew I had and I know it was a pretty tense few minutes, but I was pretty certain it was going to be a try," said Marmion after the TMO was called to adjudicate.

The ending of the losing sequence brought its own relief but Marmion knows that, in the general scheme of things, this is a massive victory for Connacht rugby, not least given their form this season.

"It's obviously huge, going away to Edinburgh and losing by 40 points last week. It's such a big turnaround to come to Toulouse. Winning in Toulouse is huge. It's a huge turnaround from last week, which is great."

He knows they face a potential backlash from a Toulouse side who now suddenly need to win in Galway next Saturday if they are to remain in contention for a quarter-final spot.

"It is going to be tough, but we have shown we can do it already and we just need to back that up and get another victory. We are looking forward to it," he said.

"We have a big job to do to get the win next week as well which is huge. It'll be great. Hopefully we'll have a big crowd at the game after this result.

"It will certainly be a great atmosphere and it is exactly what we need."

Irish Independent

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