Belfast Telegraph

Magners League: Connacht arrive in Ulster on back of decent run of form

By Michael Sadlier

As the season enters endgame it’s time for Connacht to make a trip to Belfast and, as usual, there is a great deal at stake.

This year, at least, Ulster aren’t looking over their shoulders at the possibility of Connacht leapfrogging them in the table, but in many ways the situation is even more tricky as Ulster are under pressure to qualify for the play-offs while their opponents are under no such constraints and arrive here on the back of a fairly decent vein of form.

The western province have impressively managed to win five of their last eight league games which sees them currently lying ninth in the table.

However, there is still considerable baggage which coach Eric Elwood needs to offload. The problem has been winning outside their Galway base and the fact that they haven’t finished ahead at Ravenhill since way, way back in 1960 is hardly helpful.

A sole victory at Glasgow Warriors, back in September, is all Connacht have registered away from home this season.

But Elwood has, nevertheless, made great strides in his first season in charge. The former Connacht player has instilled a greater team spirit and identity, all doubtless assisted by the IRFU ending the lingering doubts surrounding the province’s future.

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