Connacht coach Eric Elwood admits his players hearts were broken after their last-gasp defeat to Gloucester but insists their spirit remains intact ahead of their trip to Munster.
Elwood is desperate for his troops to defy the odds and bounce back in the RaboDirect PRO12 clash in Limerick, after their Heineken Cup heroics proved in vain on Saturday.
Gloucester denied the Irish Province with Jonny May’s late try in the 23-19 defeat, but Elwood‘s side will not be licking their wounds ahead of two inter-provincial derbies over Christmas.
A clash with Leinster follows the Munster game, and Elwood is all too aware they must take one game at a time but they will once again leave no stone unturned in search of a victory.
"Obviously Munster is going to be a huge, huge task for us," says coach Elwood.
“History tells us we haven't won down there for a long time, and they are going very well. “They are a good side, we know that. No matter what side goes out wearing the red jersey it's going to be a difficult task
“The key for us is that I want the lads to believe in what we are doing and take the positives from our performance against Gloucester."
“I did not have to say anything after that game, the players said it themselves – they were gutted.
“You have grown men crying and it's a tough sight. Unfortunately the better team lost, but I thought our performance was magnificent.
“Our guys are learning every week to play in Europe, and hopefully these performances will stand to us.
“We have two derby matches against Munster and Leinster, and that is the next challenge. We are losing ball games, but it has not broken our spirit.”