IT’S NOT GOING to plan for Connacht so far this season.
Bottom of the RaboDirect Pro12 after eight losses in nine games in the league, last night’s 43-10 defeat away to Edinburgh was made all the more galling by the fact that Pat Lam’s men had been well in the game at half time.
With the daunting task of a trip to Toulouse for their Pool 3 Heineken Cup fixture next weekend, things aren’t going to get any easier for the men from the west. Following last night’s collapse in Murrayfield, experienced back row John Muldoon gave an honest appraisal of his side’s performance.
The nature of the display and result is very disappointing and it’s hard to take,” he told Connacht Rugby. “With the quality of players that we have in our squad today, it just isn’t anywhere near good enough. There were some tough words said in the changing room by the players. It’s all true and we all have to take it on board.
“No doubt players at home and fans will be wondering what happened and it’s down to us to fix it. No one else will fix it except the players that walk out on to the pitch.
Muldoon feels that Connacht’s current problems are not due to individual errors, but instead says a collective malaise was again at fault against Edinburgh.
Robbie Henshaw managed a try for the western province last night. ©INPHO/Russell Cheyne.
“We can’t point the finger at anyone. We’ve all got to look in the mirror and say that this was down to a poor, poor performance. Players from one to 23 have got to front up and admit that we didn’t perform tonight.
“We can’t doll it up any way. We let ourselves down, we let the jersey down and we let our fans down. There are no real excuses; we were in the game for long periods and our indiscipline cost us again. You can’t win rugby matches when you’re giving away multiple penalties one after the other.
Next Sunday’s visit the the Stade Ernest Wallon has the potential to be something of a debacle if Connacht don’t improve, particularly given that Toulouse have been excellent at home so far this season. Muldoon says the only people who can get Connacht out of this rut are those who take to the pitch.
“We’ve a bit of soul searching to do this week. Our backs are to the wall and we’ve got to come back fighting. It’s a massive week for us with Heineken Cup is back and it doesn’t get any tougher than Toulouse away.
“But I know the quality of player we have and the quality of person inside the dressing room and we will work hard to fix it. There is a real passion there to do well for Connacht and to take pride in the jersey. It’s down to us; it’s down to the players. We can’t ask any more of the management. What they gave us is a good game plan and we just didn’t produce it tonight.”
Like rugby? Follow TheScore.ie’s dedicated Twitter account @rugby_ie >