Ulster took a 30-13 victory away from the Sportsground in November and Connacht will be all out for revenge this Friday when the sides clash in a monumental Magners League derby at Ravenhill.
Friday night’s encounter at Ravenhill (kick-off 6.30pm) will see the bottom two sides in the Magners League go head-to-head in a game that will almost certainly have a big say in deciding who qualifies for next season’s Heineken Cup.
Connacht lock and captain Andrew Farley has appealed to the province’s fans to make the trip to Belfast. The Ireland ‘A’ international said that the interprovincial clash will be one of their most important games this season.
“We had superb support at the Sportsground for the game against Munster recently and there was also a big contingent in Edinburgh for our last away match.
“Games between the Irish provinces are always close and it would be great to have good support at Ravenhill on Friday,” Farley admitted.
Meanwhile, full-back Bryn Cunningham believes that despite defeats to Munster and the Ospreys, Ulster’s confidence has not been dented in recent weeks.
“Munster and the Ospreys away were always going to be two of the hardest matches this season regardless of our position in the table. They are two very strong sides.
“It hasn’t affected the mood or morale in training, we were disappointed not to come away with a win but we have to put it behind us, work hard and continue to improve,” Cunningham said.
The 30-year-old, also an Ireland ‘A’ international, was impressed with how Connacht played in their recent loss to Munster but feels Friday’s game is just as important as the other four Ulster have left to play this season.
“Connacht are a very good collective side, they are solid throughout. They gave Munster a scare and considering the form that Munster are in, it was a great performance. They play a very direct style so obviously we’ll be keeping that in mind when we take them on.
“When the team runs out on Friday we will be treating it as we do any other match – we will be going out to give it our best and hope to get a positive result,” he added.
“Every match this season has been an important one. Yes, because of our position in the Magners League this match has drawn a lot of attention but we still have to play five matches this season so each is as important as the next.
“Connacht will not be a ‘do or die’ scenario but it will be nice to be back out at Ravenhill. The support we get is always fantastic and is definitely appreciated.”