Senior player John Muldoon made his return from injury last night, playing 33 minutes in the dismal 43 – 10 defeat at the hands of Edinburgh Rugby.

The influential forward said that all players need to take responsibility for this lack of performance and make a real turnaround for the upcoming game against Toulouse in just eight days’ time.

Speaking after last night’s PRO 12 game, Muldoon said:

“The nature of the display and result tonight is very disappointing and it’s hard to take. 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 tonight and it’s down to us to fix it. Noone else will fix it except the players that walk out on to the pitch.

“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 1 – 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.

“So 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 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.

Commenting on the final stages of the game and the leaking of three tries in eight minutes, Muldoon said:

“The game was over at that stage and we went searching to try get back into it. We gave them an intercept on our own try line. We were playing to make the score line look better and when you’re doing that you get out of your game plan and structures.

“Other, silly errors cost us the game before those last ten minutes. But the scoreline hurts us badly and as I said, we have to get a reaction this week.”

Head Coach Pat Lam added:

“There’s disappointment and then there’s embarrassment. We started well and had opportunities to score but didn’t. That’s disappointing. But what happened in the last ten minutes, when we let in three soft tries; that’s embarrassing. We were playing catch up rugby at that stage and trying desperate things throwing the ball around.  That shouldn’t have happened and we should have been real clear at half time.

“We have to apologise to the Connacht supporters because this isn’t what we’re about. Strong messages were said at half time and at the finish by our players.

“But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what we say if we’re not putting in the performances and getting results.

“We have to take the harsh learnings from tonight and really front up for the back to back games against Toulouse. Noone will give us a chance, and rightly so after that performance.

“But we have to turn this around and will work so hard to do that.”

Connacht travel to Toulouse next weekend to play Toulouse in round 3 of the Heineken Cup on Sunday 8th December (KO 16:00, Stade Ernest Wallon)

 

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