As well as the historic win over four-time European champions Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon, the recent spell of Heineken Cup action also brought about a lot of discussion at the Sportsground around the Connacht supporters.

Head Coach Pat Lam spoke of the support all week in the lead up to the return leg against Toulouse at the Sportsground:

“The Connacht fans are amazing. All week, we were getting messages of support from all over the country. Walking down the street in Galway, everyone wants to stop and chat and wish you the best for the game ahead. I love that about this special place.”

Craig Clarke who came here from captaining the Waikato Chiefs to two successive Super XV titles also spoke about his impression of the Connacht supporters since his arrival in September:

“When you’re running through the Clan Stand after the warm up the noise around the Sportsground is amazing,
said the on-field captain. “It’s sometimes a small amount of people but when it’s like that, it’s one of the best stadiums in the world.

“Even when we haven’t got the result, the supporters are so loud in cheering us off the field. This is so new to me, I’ve never experienced anything like it. And the first time I really experienced it was after the Saracens game, and it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It’s somewhat alien to me but I really appreciate it. It makes us want to play better and perform for this group of supporters who are so passionate and loyal.

“It’s back to the bread and butter of the Rabo this week and we need to get off the bottom of that table. We have to bottle some of what we brought to Europe and ensure we get the same accuracy as well as the heart in our next game against the Dragons.”

Connacht Rugby welcome Newport Gwent Dragons to the Sportsground for round 10 of the RaboDirect PRO12 this Saturday 21st December. Kick-off is at 5pm and as the game is not on TV the only way to see the team in action before Christmas is to get down to the Sportsground.

Starting at just €20 for adults and are €5 for all Juniors, tickets are available online from tickets.ie, from the Connacht Rugby office and from Centra& SuperValu stores nationwide.

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