Saturday 25 November 2017

Toulouse shock shows we can beat Munster -- Parks

Dan parks says Connacht are feeling confident after defeating Toulouse
Dan parks says Connacht are feeling confident after defeating Toulouse

John Fallon

The Celtic League's all-time top scorer Dan Parks believes that the confidence gleaned from winning in Toulouse earlier this month will stand to Connacht as they bid for a first ever victory in the professional era at Thomond Park on Friday.

The former Scotland out-half reckons that remarkable Heineken Cup triumph in Toulouse has given Connacht renewed hope that they can win anywhere.

Parks (right), the hero on Saturday when he set up the late equalising try against Dragons and then landed a winning drop-goal, said the Westerners believe they can take another big scalp and sink Munster.

"It is another big chance for us. The inter-pros are special. We fought well against Leinster earlier this season and were unfortunate to come away with a loss. Munster are a great side and it will be a tough," he said.

"But, as we showed in Toulouse, there is no such thing as an impossible game and if you turn up on the day and a few bounces of the ball go in your favour, you can get a result. We will go there with all guns blazing and try to get a result."

Parks rescued Connacht in the dying moments against Dragons at the Sportsground -- a ninth successive defeat would have kept Pat Lam's side rooted to the bottom of the Pro12 table.

He executed an audacious crosskick five minutes from time which put Fionn Carr over in the right corner after Dragons had been forced to commit extra bodies to defending a series of mauls on the other side.

"There was no one there, just Fionn. Their defence narrowed up and, all it needed was to get it across," said Parks.

He was off target with the conversion but Connacht countered and set up a drop-goal opportunity which Parks executed in the dreadful conditions.

"Toby Faletau came hard at me but it was a great pass from Paul (O'Donohoe). It meant I could drop it on the ground really fast and get it around Toby's big left arm," said Parks.

"We have had a few narrow losses and that would have been a huge loss for us. We just had to win that one."

Irish Independent

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