It wasn’t pretty but there was no dampening Eric Elwood’s mood after his side overcame injury and ill-discipline to see off RaboDirect PRO12 new-boys Zebre in Parma.
Despite coming away with a 30-17 victory it was far from comfortable for Connacht who saw John Muldoon, George Naoupo and Frank Murphy all pick up injuries during the clash.
Connacht looked to be cruising to victory before a succession of injuries and the sin-binning of David Gannon and Rodney Ah You in the last quarter threatened to derail their first win of the season.
However Connacht saw the victory out and Elwood was encouraged at the determination his side showed in difficult circumstances.
“I thought our application was outstanding, we controlled possession and got some good scores,” Elwood said.
“In the second half we were forced to shuffle our hand because of the injuries and a couple of sin binnings (David Gannon and Rodney Ah You).
“But we showed real guts and fighting spirit, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort we put in.”
And Elwood wasn’t the only man with a wide smile, his sentiments echoed by man-of-the-match Gavin Duffy.
“I think it was a good display in the first half and although we suffered from injury in the second half, we battled well throughout the game and it was a combined effort from the entire squad,” said the Connacht captain.
“At times, it wasn’t pretty but we got the win and the four points and that’s the important thing.”