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Saturday 23 September 2017

Elwood eager to defeat Quins

CONNACHT coach Eric Elwood believes his side can end their losing run by beating Harlequins in Galway on Friday to finish their maiden season in the Heineken Cup on a high note.

Elwood’s charges belied their losing run – which now stands at 14 games – with a fiery performance that forced Toulouse to dig deep before the French giants nailed a bonus point 10 minutes from the end to win 24-3.

Toulouse captain Thierry Dusautoir led the praise of Connacht’s performance and said he was not surprised that they mounted such a challenge at |the Stade Ernest Wallon on Saturday.

“They are a good team. It is their first time in the Heineken Cup and they play great rugby,” he said. “Except us, no one had got a bonus point against Connacht so we knew it was going to be really difficult.”

Elwood said he was pleased with the display, especially after the abject performance away to Aironi the previous week, but he reckons that a win over Harlequins this week would give them momentum for the season.

“The one thing we wanted out of that campaign was the win and we have one chance left,” said Elwood.

“I’m delighted the fans got something to cheer about, even if we didn’t win. They’ll be happy with the boys. It would be great to reward them with a win next week.”

Saracens may have spent last week in South Africa, but they are on the brink of a Heineken Cup quarter-final place following a tense win over Biarritz.

The Premiership champions will go to Treviso next weekend needing only a bonus point to top Pool Five. A win could secure a home quarter-final.

“We are pleased to have won the game,” said director of rugby Mark McCall. “We are not qualified yet. That will focus the mind for next week.”

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