AFTER ANOTHER UNFORGETTABLE evening at the Sportsground, it has begun to sink in that Connacht will contest their first ever Pro12 final next Saturday.
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Pat Lam’s men saw out a 16-11 victory over Glasgow at the semi-final stage last night despite playing the closing minutes with 14 men after Rodney Ah You’s yellow card.
Captain John Muldoon led by example at number eight and he believes it’s an enormously-significant result for the province.
“You have to pinch yourself at times, don’t you?” said Muldoon. “It’s huge. I said to Robbie (Henshaw) just before we left the dressing room there, ‘we’ve got one more game after this,’ and he just gave me a wry little smile.
“It’s fantastic. You saw the way the crowd were out there and I think the energy around the place was huge for the last couple of days.
“There was probably a little bit of anxiety and a little bit of worry in the lads. One of the things we were trying to instill all week was to just keep doing what we’re doing and have the confidence, try not to go into ourselves.
“That’s easy to say and in an environment out there, emotionally it was huge.
“I’ll have to look back at the game but I think we were very, very hungry for it and we won a lot of 50/50s. I think the crowd probably lifted us and got us over the line a small bit as well. We were probably a little bit unlucky with a couple of the tries, but that’s the way it goes.”
Next week’s final will be an All-Irish affair at Murrayfield after Leinster overcame Ulster on Saturday evening. It’s one win apiece between the sides this season, and Muldoon knows the 2014 winners will pose a real threat.
“I thought Leinster were outstanding last night (Saturday). Defence won the game, I think that five-minute period just after half time was what won them the game.
“I was chatting to a few friends after that couple of minutes when they stopped Ulster, and I said ‘game over.’ Big days and big occasions and the big men come to the fore. Heaslip, Sexton, all those lads were very, very good. We have our work cut out.”
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