Connacht battle to beat best placing ever

Eric Elwood’s side have a lot to play for coming into the the last four games

John Muldoon (right): moves to openside for Connacht’s match against Edinburgh. Photograph: Inpho

John Muldoon (right): moves to openside for Connacht’s match against Edinburgh. Photograph: Inpho

Fri, Apr 12, 2013, 07:00

Edinburgh are seeking three wins in a row against Eric Elwood’s side, who are hoping to top their best finish in the PRO12 of eighth place. It’s a makeable goal for Connacht, who are on the same points as the Scottish side but ahead of them on points difference.

With next season’s coach, Pat Lam already in Galway, there could be an extra pep in the Connacht step for the closing sequence of matches.

Lock Michael Swift comes in for just one change. Connacht’s highest capped player will join international Mike McCarthy in the secondrow.

A reshuffle in the backrow has Mick Kearney moving to blindside, with John Muldoon named at number seven. With the Connacht v Treviso fixture rearranged for April 26th, Elwood has four games, or, a maximum of 20 PRO12 points left to play for.

Edinburgh under interim coaches Stevie Cott and Duncan Hodge, have good players in Tim Visser, Greig Laidlaw and Ross For but have only been able to win six matches, two of those quite recently.

Home advantage on a bigger pitch in a spooky, partially filled Murrayfield is a tough one this end of the year. Connacht also have Ulster and Glasgow to face as well as the refixed Treviso match. This week would be as good as any to get something in the bag.