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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Dan Sheridan/INPHO Muldoon kicks his conversion.
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'I was in dreamland when we won the Pro12, but this...': Muldoon bows out on a high
The departing captain will ‘watch from afar’ and hopes to see Connacht unleash performances like this more often .

Sean Farrell reports from the Sportsground

IT COULD HAVE been the emotion on top of the opposition involved, but John Muldoon was struck by memories of Murrayfield as he toured the Sportsground after leaving Connacht with plenty to celebrate.

At the tail end of a season which has often looked an arduous struggle, in the late-April sunshine Connacht made their many attacking talents click to devastating effect and a seven-try thrashing Leinster’s back-up men were left with innumerate things to think about before the Champions Cup final.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I expect it, 47-10, Jesus!” the proud Portumna man told TG4 as preparations for his send-off continued around him.

“I thought I was in dreamland when we won the Pro12, but this… it was some performance by the lads.”

His team-mate on that triumphant day in Edinburgh two years ago, Robbie Henshaw, was a bag and kicking tee-carrying extra for Leinster today and looked somewhat reluctant to leave as the western province invited applause for the men leaving the club this summer.

Before Muldoon was presented with a jersey for his service by Eric Elwood (one of the few men to be on his legendary level) there was a touching video tribute to Andrew Browne, another man departing his native province after well over a decade of service.

“I’ve an awful lot of admiration for Andrew Browne and a few of the other lads who are leaving, because, I feel that there’s been a bit too much limelight on me.”

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John Muldoon thanks the fans after the game Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

A performance to steal the limelight away from his big day would have pleased the great eight then. And his last team-talk as a player certainly bore fruit.

“I said to the lads during the week, if we can get a bit more consistent, we can beat anyone on our day. I’m delighted for the lads. I’m delighted that they showed a performance to the crowd and to everybody… it’s been some rollercoaster.”
I said to the lads before we went out, just do ourselves and do the group proud. And I thought they were magnificent today.

“To all the lads, to all the fans that followed us these last few years, that’s what we’re capable of. That’s what we can do, and just fucking back the lads.”

If Connacht can click and attack with the sort of venom they did today, then fans in the post-Muldoon era will have plenty of reason to back this team.

Seven-try Connacht rout Leinster on fitting farewell bash for John Muldoon

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