Connacht will be aiming to complete their most successful series of festive derbies when they travel to Limerick on Saturday to take on a Munster side who have lost both of their inter-pros over the past couple of weeks.
But to do so Kieran Keane’s men will need to fly in the face of history and win away from home for only the third time in 47 games away to the other three Irish provinces.
Coach Keane knows that they will face a tough task against a Munster side badly in need of a boost after successive losses to Leinster and Ulster and with Irish internationals Bundee Aki, Kieran Marmion and Ultan Dillane set to be rested after starting against Ulster and Leinster, it will take a special performance from a confident Connacht side.
“Another big battle, we will have to rotate things. Three of our internationals, for example, will have to get a rest so we will start from there and sort it out.
“We are trying to create our own little bit of history, that’s all any player or coach tries to do, it doesn’t matter who it is against, it’s a matter of thinking about what we can do,” he said.
Connacht’s sole successes came against Leinster in 2002 and two years ago when they did the double over Munster on their way to winning the PRO12 crown.
And aside from a 27-27 draw in Cork to Munster in 2004, it has been a succession of defeats on the road in Ireland, with the New Year’s Day 21-18 loss to Leinster their 43rd loss away to the three provinces.
That, in turn, feeds into an overall record — not including Connacht’s 20-10 win over Leinster in the 2016 PRO12 final in Edinburgh — of 18 wins, 71 losses, and two draws in the 91 regular league games so far since the game went professional.
But now the superb 44-16 bonus point win over Ulster at the Sportsground, coupled with the battling display which garnered a losing bonus point in the RDS, leaves Connacht on the cusp of their best festive programme so far against the other Irish provinces.
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