Tiernan O’Halloran, one of the heroes of Connacht’s only win in the professional era at Thomond Park in 2015, reckons they can repeat the feat tomorrow night.
A nine-point gap to leaders Munster at the top of Conference B might seem insurmountable, but a repeat of their heroic victory, en route to the title at the end of that season, will suit the Galway native.
“For me the standout was we were wearing the superhero jerseys, which was a bit different for us. That night we probably showed it a bit,” said O’Halloran, who scored Connacht’s first try in that 18-12 victory.
“We played out of our skins and it was a massive occasion to get a win down in Thomond,” added O’Halloran, who is now Connacht’s longest serving player.
“It was a huge lift and the crowd was right behind us. It was a massive atmosphere and it set up our momentum for the rest of the season.
“Any time we go down there it is always a tough prospect. That year we went down there with ambition to throw the ball round and play rugby and we worked out the right side of it. Hopefully we can finally back up another win down there this weekend.”
An impressive run of results away from home has put Connacht in with a shout of denying Munster with three games remaining in the season. However, a win will guarantee Munster will face either Leinster or Ulster in the final, which leaves no room for error for Connacht.
Despite the pressurised situation, O’Halloran thinks a sixth straight away win in the competition will give Connacht a shot at finishing top of the table.
“I think if we win this weekend, 100%, it’s possible. If we can get a swing on them this weekend, try and get out of the game taking the four points without them getting any, it could be huge for us in terms of the rest of the season.
“Obviously I know we would need them to slip up again, but putting pressure on and controlling what we can control, it would be huge for us to get a win this weekend.
“We can’t look past that, but it is something that will definitely be in our heads. It’s a must win game for us.”