Maturer Connacht learning from mistakes, says John Muldoon

Connacht captain John Muldoon says the maturity his side has shown in recent games needs to be repeated when they return to Parma at the weekend to take on Zebre in the Champions Cup.

Connacht began their Champions Cup campaign with a fantastic 23-21 victory over four-time winners Toulouse at the weekend.

The hosts trailed 21-11 at half-time but fought back with late tries from Tiernan O’Halloran and Bundee Aki to seal a second win over the most prolific winners of the competition.

But the most pleasing aspect for Muldoon is the fact his side are learning to cope in the most difficult of situations.

Connacht were stuck inside their own 22 in the closing minutes but went through the phases and never panicked as they ran down the clock to secure victory.

“Once we got the ball back we could control the game. When the opposition has the ball you are in the lap of what they can do and in the lap of God and the referee,” said Muldoon.

“So once you are in control of the game it’s important that you close it out.

“We had one or two opportunities the previous week against Ulster that we coughed up and we tried to make sure that we learned from those mistakes.

“The best thing about this team is that we do learn from mistakes and hopefully from now on we will be able to give ourselves a little bit more breathing space than two points.”

Connacht are second in Champions Cup Pool 2 after Wasps scored 12 tries in a 82-14 victory over a second-string Zebre side in the opening round at the Ricoh Arena.

Connacht travel to take on the Italians in Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Sunday but Muldoon said they will be a different proposition at home.

They led Connacht 22-10 at half-time in round three of the Pro12 on September 17 before the game was abandoned due to a storm in Parma.

But Muldoon is delighted to have kicked off the campaign with a victory on their return to Champions Cup rugby after a three-year absence.

“We will have to dust ourselves down because we know Zebre isn’t going to be an easy game.

“We were over there a few weeks ago and we were probably lucky to get away from it. We will be leaving nothing to chance.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Related Articles

Willie Ruane: Connacht will pick Pat Lam's successor, not the IRFU

Escape clause sparked Pat Lam's announcement

Shocked Connacht must now prepare for life after Pat Lam

Noel Mannion: Connacht job could be the one for Ronan O’Gara

More in this Section

Conor Murray in a good place to face massive challenges

Jack McGrath warns Leinster must draw the sting out of Northampton

Ex-England duo set for Lions roles

Willie Ruane: Connacht will pick Pat Lam's successor, not the IRFU


Breaking Stories

Spurs finally end winless Wembley run

Leicester lose unbeaten record in five-goal humiliation

Joey Barton has no regrets over ill-fated Rangers move and 'would do it again'

FIFA president pushing for 48-team World Cup, with 16 groups

Lifestyle

Full disclosure in Oliver Stone's new film about CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden

What to buy for the most awkward people in your life this Christmas

Children's hospice makes sure families experience a truly precious Christmas

Making Cents: PCPs are the deals for those looking for new wheels

More From The Irish Examiner