Elwood looking for some Christmas cheer

Guinness PRO12 Editor

26 Dec 2011


Eric Elwood is urging his Connacht team to snap a ten-game losing streak in style by winning in the back garden of reigning RaboDirect PRO12 champions Munster.

Connacht have slipped down the league during a poor run of form, no defeat more painful than last time out in the Heineken Cup as a late Jonny May try handed Gloucester a 23-19 victory.

And on paper a Boxing Day clash with Munster looks unlikely to offer much Christmas cheer despite Irish internationals Ronan O’Gara, Donnacha Ryan, Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray all missing at Thomond Park.

But Elwood is keeping the faith and believes all his troops need to do is find a killer instinct to turn despair into joy.

"Obviously, Munster is going to be a huge, huge task for us," Elwood told the Irish Independent.

"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 for us.

"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. But we are in the business of winning and we can't hide from it and we don't attempt to hide from it.

"But part of our learning curve and experience, particularly at this level, is how to close out games and win them.

“The good thing is we are competitive. We are playing a good brand of rugby, we are asking questions of top sides, we are asking questions of teams supposedly far superior in terms of budget and quality."