Thursday 17 October 2019

Fainga'a: Past lessons will help Connacht in huge clash

Connacht's back-rower Colby Fainga'a. Photo: Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile
Connacht's back-rower Colby Fainga'a. Photo: Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile

John Fallon

Connacht's impressive back-rower Colby Fainga'a believes the team learned a lot from a one-point defeat away to Cardiff Blues in January and that should stand to them as they head in to their biggest game in three years this Saturday.

Victory against the Blues at the Sportsground will ensure a play-off place for Connacht in the PRO14 and guarantee qualification for the Champions Cup.

But Fainga'a, who has been one of Connacht's most consistent players all season, said they know they will have a battle on their hands against a side who edged them out 8-7 in January despite having two men in the bin at one stage in the opening half.

"We probably let one slip last time we played them, we could have done a lot better. Who knows what would have happened if we won the last one. We will learn a lot from that," said Fainga'a.

"They are an impressive side, we know that. But we are not trying to do bonus points, we are not trying to focus on any of that, all we are trying to do is get a victory. That will be enough."

The Australian - who made his professional debut when current coach Andy Friend was at the helm of the Brumbies - said that Saturday's 6-5 win over Zebre keeps them in control of their own destiny and that is all that matters as they face into their biggest match since winning the PRO12 title in 2016.

"That is exactly what we said coming in to this game, whether we won by five points, one point or 50.

"All we wanted to do is come here and win. That is the goal that we achieved. Now it is back and try and focus on Cardiff now."

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