‘Everyone was freezing their balls off – so we wanted to put in a performance for our fans'

‘Everyone was freezing their balls off – so we wanted to put in a performance for our fans’
© James Crombie INPHO Connacht played great rugby in the rain.

THROUGH THE WIND, through the rain, Mack Hansen walked on. He didn’t swap life in Canberra to come here for the weather but he certainly isn’t complaining.

Six games into his Connacht career, the winger is already on his way to star status, a man of the match performance this evening capped off with another try, his fifth of the season, as Connacht defeated the Ospreys with ease.

“Everybody was absolutely freezing their balls off out there,” said Hansen. “We still managed to play some decent footie, which is exactly what we want to do for our fans. It has been awesome since I came here.

“Everyone is so friendly and nice here and when you come from the other side of the world, it helps to have such a close group to make you feel welcome.”

It isn’t just Connacht who have opened their doors to Hansen. Irish qualified, he made a brief appearance in Andy Farrell’s camp last week. “I hope to get back there,” Hansen said.

So, too, does Jack Carty. The Connacht captain signed a three-year deal with the province last week and went some way to repaying some of that faith with an inspirational performance this evening.

“We wanted to build on where we left off against Ulster,” said Carty. “That was the big question being asked of us.

“Could we back it up?

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“I am just so grateful that we did. We stuck to our principles, and I know in these conditions people might expect us to kick but we trust in our game-plan. We have these conditions a lot down here so you have to embrace the challenge. We did that this evening.

“The coaches empower us here. We have a gameplan that suits all sorts of conditions. You saw in the Aviva a few weeks ago what we were capable of when it was a dry track. A lot of the things we did then, we repeated here, which was pleasing. In wet conditions, you can go into your shell a lot. But we didn’t.”

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