Connacht begin their 2023 year at home to the Sharks this Saturday in the BKT United Rugby Championship in what is being seen as massive game for Andy Friend's side.
The New Years day clash against Leinster saw Connacht leave the RDS empty handed after a promising opening 40 to the game. Tom Farrell was one of the Connacht try scorers on the day and he discussed the mood in camp as they now turn attention to the Sharks.
"It's kinda mixed the mood to be honest"
"On our team review we thought we actually played well in some patches of the game against Leinster and Pete (Wilkins) said if we performed like that against other teams we would probably get the result"
"When you're playing against the best team in Europe though a little lapse of concentration can hurt you which is what happened with us against Leinster"
The pressure dial now goes up as every game becomes a must win as Connacht look to get themselves back in a playoff position. For Tom though pressure isn't something he or the rest of the squad are feeling.
"I wouldn't say we're feeling the pressure but there is an awareness amongst the group as to where we are in the table"
"There's only 6 or 7 games left in the URC season so we know how important every game is between now and that final game if we want to reach the knockouts"
South African side Sharks make their first ever trip to The Sportsground this Saturday as they look to keep up their recent good form. Farrell knows what dangers the team in Durban will bring to Galway.
"They're a really dangerous side with a number of Springboks throughout their team"
"We know from last year about their physicality and what they bring to the table"
"We're expecting the Sharks team to show up and its up to us to make sure we're on our game come Saturday"
"They play at a very quick pace, when they win the gain line they get good momentum off the back of it with fast dynamic players coming from everywhere"
"If you don't stop them in the initial few phases they are a hard team to stop"
"We need to limit that access they will look to find through their dynamic ball players"
The Connacht team for Saturday will be named this Friday