Connacht fullback Tiernan O’Halloran plans to mark his 100th cap with a win against Glasgow on Saturday to secure a first Guinness PRO12 home semi-final.
The 26-year-old Galway-born player believes playing the current league champions in this final round fixture will help Connacht’s preparations for the next stage.
“We are playing the most in-form team at the moment, the champions from last year, but it is actually good to be playing Glasgow at this stage because playing with that intensity builds nicely for the semi-final,” he reasoned.
O’Halloran returned from a quad injury to play in Connacht’s loss to Treviso, but says that result will not upset the squad ahead of Saturday’s crunch match.
“Is it worrying? No. The way results turned out, we would still have to win at home.
“Pat [Lam] spoke about not having a defeatist approach to the game, so rather than looking for a losing bonus point now, we simply know we have to win the game. Yes, there is disappointment that we lost the game, but there is no dent in our confidence.
“We are back home where we have lost only one game all year in front of a sell-out crowd. There is a massive buzz around here and everyone is good to go.”
Already through to the last four after that bonus-point 22-21 defeat in Italy, O’Halloran says Connacht are not getting caught up in the negatives.
“If we lose to Glasgow, it would be two in a row, but that is not the way we think now. We have built up the confidence in ourselves, and we know the level of performance we can play at. If we perform on the day, we know we can beat the top teams at the Sportsground, and with some of the lads coming back from injury, it should be a huge occasion here. Everyone is ready to get the win.”
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