Connacht captain John Muldoon reckons the time is ripe for the province to win silverware, writes Linley Mackenzie.
“Never been in a better place,” says Muldoon, who is still annoyed losing 14-7 to Gloucester at the same stage last season.
“That Gloucester game last year taught us a lot. We did some really good stuff, then some really poor stuff, and it still irks me how we lost that game. It is different now, and we have the belief we can beat anyone.”
Muldoon, having enjoyed some of his most memorable games in France, now wants to make it count.
“When you go into the cauldron of French rugby and a vocal crowd, particularly when they don’t like it when you are winning, it spurs you on even more.
“This is a one-off game, a one-off opportunity, and with the carrot of a semi-final, we are really looking forward to it.
“There have been some very dark days in Connacht, and I have been involved in a lot of them, so it’s great to be here, involved in a knockout competition, and in the hunt at this stage of the season. Of all years and the way we are playing, if we did win a trophy, it would show everyone how serious Connacht Rugby has become.”
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner
Connacht team v Grenoble at Stade des Alpes - Saturday April - kick-off 9:05pm.
Connacht team: 15 Matt Healy, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Danie Poolman, 10 Shane O’Leary, 9 Kieran Marmion; 1 Denis Buckley, 2 Tom McCartney, 3 Finlay Bealham, 4 Ultan Dillane, 5 Andrew Browne, 6 Sean O’Brien, 7 Eoin McKeon, 8 John Muldoon - capt.
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 James Connolly, 21 John Cooney, 22 Peter Robb, 23 Fionn Carr.