Connacht resume their Magners League campaign away to Edinburgh on Friday and coach Michael Bradley is hopeful that his side can triumph at Murrayfield, despite the Scots being one of the in-form sides in the competition.
Since the two sides drew 14-14 all at the Sportsground in the Magners League before Christmas, Edinburgh have gone on a good run and have moved up the table to go level on points with Munster in fourth place.
Despite Scotland’s fifth place finish in the Six Nations, Connacht boss Michael Bradley is well aware of how good both Scottish regions are at the moment.
“Since we played Edinburgh last, they’ve had a very good run of results which ended with Munster’s defeat of them at Murrayfield last time round,” he explained.
“They’re playing very good rugby at the moment – as are Glasgow – and when we go to Edinburgh on Friday we’re expecting to meet a side full of confidence on that basis.”
When these two sides last met in October, Edinburgh’s expansive game saw them score two tries at the Sportsground, however by spreading the ball wide, Bradley sees opportunities for his side to exploit, should the game play out in a similar fashion.
“We’re very much aware of the type of game they’ll try and play. We expect them to express themselves and keep the ball alive so it could well be a wide open game. We’ve got to insure that we put pressure on them in defence to insure that they can’t secure their offloads.
“That could then create opportunities for us to convert defence into attack and if we can convert those opportunities it could swing the balance in our favour at the end of the day,” he added.
Connacht go into this game having lost arguably their player of the season to date, with second row Michael Swift having been ruled out until the end of the season at the earliest.
However, with Andrew Browne playing very well for Galwegians at the moment, David Gannon could well be in a dogfight for the position of second lock beside captain Andrew Farley for Friday night.
Loosehead prop John Lyne and out-half Troy Nathan have also been outstanding recently for their clubs which could also warrant their inclusion in the squad.
But sadly for Connacht fans, talented back rower Ray Ofisa has been ruled out with an arm injury and with his progress still being monitored, it is unknown how long he will be out for.