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Ulster win brought 'massive confidence' but Leinster a 'completely different' test for Connacht

Eoghan Masterson expects a tough battle on New Year’s Day.

Eoghan Masterson (second from right) with some of his Connacht team-mates after Saturday's win over Ulster.
Eoghan Masterson (second from right) with some of his Connacht team-mates after Saturday's win over Ulster.

CONNACHT FLANKER EOGHAN Masterson is hopeful that they can back up their record win over Ulster by scoring what would be only a second ever win away to Leinster.

Connacht produced their best performance of the season to run in six tries in a 44-16 win against the northern province and will now look to boost their Champions Cup qualification hopes when they head to the RDS on New Year’s Day.

Masterson, who scored his second try of the campaign when he got Connacht off the mark at the Sportsground on Saturday night, expects a tough battle with Leinster. However, the 24-year-old said they will go to Dublin on a high after notching a third win in a row in the Guinness Pro14 and Challenge Cup.

“It will give us massive confidence but it’s completely different opposition, a completely different venue. We are under no illusions of how big a test that is going to be.

“It’s a fixture that we haven’t had much success in in the past. But we will enjoy our Christmas, get back together on Wednesday and I’m sure KK [coach Kieran Keane] will have a good plan for us to go up there and do the best we can.”

His third-minute score against Ulster was his seventh try in 52 appearances for Connacht and was the product of some good work on the training ground.

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“It wasn’t the most individual piece of brilliance try you will ever see. The maul, we put a big emphasis on it during the week, worked really hard on it. There were a lot of tough training sessions that put a lot of work into it.

“The easiest job is always the fella that dots it down. It’s always the lads at the front of the maul getting battered that do the hard work and I fall over the line. It was just good that the team got a try up nice and early. It got our tails up a little bit and we kicked on from there,” he added.

Masterson was also taken by the atmosphere at the Sportsground on Saturday: “It was unbelievable. Running out for the warm-up, for the start of the game, for the second half, it just gives you that extra lift. You are like, alright we have got the fans into this, let’s get them behind us and give them something to cheer about.

“You can’t emphasise enough, the Sportsground crowd is unbelievable, you would rather play in front of no one else,” added Masterson.

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