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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

'Winning is a habit,' says Heffernan as Connacht aim to extend 5-game winning run

Leinster won’t present an easy sixth win on the trot for the Westerners.

Heffernan, right, celebrates with James Connolly and Bundee Aki in the home meeting with Perpignan.
Heffernan, right, celebrates with James Connolly and Bundee Aki in the home meeting with Perpignan.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IT’S TURNING OUT to be season of noticeable achievements for Connacht and stand-in skipper Dave Heffernan is hopeful they can continue their winning form when they head to Leinster next Saturday.

Connacht travel to the home of the PRO14 and European champions on the back of a five-match winning run. And having won in Belfast earlier in the campaign for the first time in half a century, they are hopeful of a rare win in Dublin.

Connacht have only won once in the professional era in Dublin, but victory on Saturday would constitute their second-longest winning run and take them within two of their record achieved under Pat Lam three seasons ago.

Heffernan said confidence is high at the Sportsground but while they stretched their winning run with a 36-21 success in Perpignan on Friday night, he knows they face much tougher opposition against the three Irish provinces in the coming weeks.

“There is serious competition for every place in the side an we’re definitely trending in the right direction and we are not even half way through the season. But we have put ourselves in a really good position,” says the hooker.

“There are a lot of positives and the whole atmosphere around the place is good. We’re winning games where we probably would have fell off last year. There is a lot of good things happening.

28 next month, Heffernan has chalked up 108 appearances for his native province and having sent an under-strength side to Perpignan and come away with a bonus point, he believes that the strength of the squad has improved this season.

David Heffernan scores his side's second try despite Eroni Sau Heffernan forces his way over for a try against Perpignan. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“There are a lot of guys in there putting their hands up for the inter-pro games over the next couple of weeks. Winning is a habit and to get five wins on the bounce is really good.

“We’re coming into a huge block of games, in my opinion playing three of the top sides in Europe starting with Leinster, which is going to be a massive test. It’s one we’re all really excited for.

“The we have two at home against Munster and Ulster and they are the kind of games everyone wants to play in.”

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John Fallon

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