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Connacht out to keep bar high for visit of Kiss's warriors


Making the weight: Connacht’s Craig Ronaldson in training

Making the weight: Connacht’s Craig Ronaldson in training

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Making the weight: Connacht’s Craig Ronaldson in training

Connacht centre Craig Ronaldson believes preserving their winning home record will be their prime target when Les Kiss' high-flying Ulster come to town on Boxing Day.

The Westerners have won all seven games at the Sportsground this season and Ronaldson said they want to end the year with that record intact.

"It's a huge match and we haven't beaten Ulster in a while now. We are going to be looking at that. Hopefully we can get a big crowd down for it and really go all guns out," said the 25-year old.

But the main priority for boss Pat Lam will be to get as many fit bodies back on the park as possible this week after going to Newcastle with just 22 players and suffering a 29-5 defeat.

Lam had 19 of his European registered players unavailable but is hopeful of getting several back this week as Ulster, fresh from their superb back-to-back wins over Toulouse, come to Galway on Saturday.

Ronaldson - who has played in a dozen of Connacht's 13 games this season having missed only the home win over Newcastle - said they want to bounce back from Sunday's defeat.

"We know it is a huge game for us and we want to keep our home record intact," he said.

"It is a big game up at the top of the table, and hopefully we will have a few more fit bodies available.

"It is a quick turnaround for us now, so it is really about the players focusing their mind and getting their body right.

"At this stage we are down to the bare bones, but we talked about it at the end of the game in Newcastle, it is not being used as an excuse.

"Guys who step in, everyone needs to be on the money every time they come in, whatever position you are playing in. You need to know your roles, you need to nail it."

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