As Connacht head to Glasgow for their final RaboDirect PRO12 fixture of the season, the province’s recently-crowned Mazda Player of the Year John Muldoon spoke about the challenges the Warriors will pose.
“It’s a massive game for us, it’s the end of the season and we are determined to finish on a high,” admitted John Muldoon, who has played all 240 minutes of Connacht’s last three wins over the Dragons, Ulster and Aironi.
“We’ve had some great recent results and some of our performances of late have been exceptionally high, so we’re looking to build on that and finish well for the season.”
Muldoon and his team-mates received a welcome boost last Sunday when Leinster beat Clermont Auvergne to make it an all-Irish Heineken Cup final against Ulster.
With Irish champions now guaranteed ahead of the May 19 final, Connacht are also assured of a second successive season in Europe’s elite tournament.
“It’s been an up and down year but it’s also been a bit of a breakthrough for Connacht as regards the Heineken Cup and we’re delighted to be back in there again,” commented the Portumna man.
“I think everyone appreciates and understands how big the Heineken Cup really is and we are no different. We’re looking forward to it being bigger and better next season but for now we’re concentrating on this weekend.”
Their round 22 opponents, Glasgow, won have four of their last five league games and are gunning for a place in the play-offs.
They will be determined to seal that semi-final spot by beating Connacht and adding to their motivation is the fact that this will be their last outing at Firhill Stadium before their move to Scotstoun Stadium in the summer.
Connacht though are unbeaten against the Warriors since a trip to Firhill in October 2009. Indeed, the westerners have not lost in their last five encounters with Scottish sides.
Muldoon added: “Glasgow are riding high in the league at the moment, their coach is leaving, they’re leaving Firhill and they are also gunning for a top four position so we know the pressure’s on them.
“They’ll be coming out all guns blazing but at the same time we’re looking to cause an upset and finish a record eighth, that would be a very good return for us this season.
“We’re really looking to finish on a high and saying goodbye to some great servants of the province, that goes for everyone, from fellas like Henry (Fa’afili) who has been here for just a year to the likes of Ray (Ofisa) who has been here for over six years.
“We’d like to give them the send-off they deserve and on top of that wish (our departing CEO) Gerry Kelly the best of luck in his retirement as well, so we’re really looking to a big performance on Saturday.”
Head coach Eric Elwood will announce an extended squad tomorrow for Saturday’s clash, which kicks off at 7.30pm and will be broadcast live on TG4 and BBC ALBA.