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Pat MacArthur vows Glasgow Warriors have no fear of Connacht challenge

Hooker Pat MacArthur insists Glasgow will not be intimidated by their return trip to Connacht's noisy Sportsground.

Warriors are heading back to Galway on Saturday a fortnight after losing there in their final fixture of the regular Guinness PRO12 campaign.

That 14-7 defeat meant Gregor Townsend's men missed out on a home semi-final and they must now take on the Devil's Own on Irish soil once again as the play-offs get under way.

Connacht are on a six-match unbeaten streak at the Sportground and Glasgow will have to kill off a run that stretches back to December if they are to make the Murrayfield final and defend the title they won for the first time last year.

But while MacArthur is full of admiration for the passionate Galway support after they roared Pat Lam's team to victory against his side, he says he will have no problem hushing them this weekend.

The Warriors forward told Press Association Sport: "The Sportsground is a great place to play. But does it intimidate us? Not at all.

"I'd say the opposite. I love going to play in grounds that are loud, with plenty of passion coming down from the stands, because it gives you a buzz.

"It is a fun environment to play in. If we can get on top, you hear that hush descend and then you can start to hear your own supporters come through. That's what I enjoy.

"We've got a great travelling support and they are usually loud and proud. It's always an amazing feeling when you hear the Glasgow supporters coming through louder than the home fans because we're on top."

Glasgow are looking to make it back-to-back PRO12 triumphs this year after winning their maiden title against Munster in Belfast last term.

But while they have consistently found themselves in the hunt for silverware in recent years, with this campaign their fifth straight appearance in the play-offs, table-topping Connacht cannot claim the same level of consistency.

Before this season's dramatic improvement saw them book their first ever play-off ticket, Connacht's previous best league finish had been seventh place.

However, MacArthur admits it is his side who will need to up their game ahead of Saturday's clash.

"We've analysed last week's game and we've come up with a few more ideas," he said. "We're going to be up against the majority of the same players and we have put a lot of work into how we need to approach it.

"But really it's about us being better this time than we were last time out.

"We've been in these semi-finals before and we know what is required to get through.

"Connacht have been at the top of the table all season. That is a hard thing to do because when you're up there, everyone is gunning for you. So they have had big games, although not the semis and finals we have experienced."


From Belfast Telegraph