Connacht back-row Eoin McKeon believes history can repeat itself and that a win in Munster this weekend could be a crucial stepping stone to PRO14 glory.
Andy Friend’s side have already secured Champions Cup rugby for next season and nailed down a PRO14 quarter-final away to Ulster.
In November 2015 Connacht went to Limerick and won 18-12, a first victory in there is the professional era, and it helped inspire them to the league title.
McKeon, who made his Connacht debut in 2009-10, knows a win over Munster could be just as significant even if wouldn’t affect Connacht’s final standing.
“It’s different to 2016. It’s hard to relate back, there is a few of the same guys but it is a different squad, coaches, staff,” said the 27-year old.
“I don’t like comparing year to year. But I am sure that
experience will pay dividends as we get into those knockout games. The experience of some of the lads who were there a few years ago will come through.
“But it is all about us here and looking forward. The job Andy Friend has done and the squad has been great this year. So hopefully we will be able to keep going.
“It is nice to have that European spot nailed down but that is done now and secured. Now the next focus is onto winning this competition.”
McKeon has scored 13 tries in 126 appearances for Connacht, and was one of the stars of their 2016 triumph. And the Galway native is desperate to fight for his place in the team ahead of the trip to Belfast.
“To say we have nothing to play for this weekend is a bit remiss,” said McKeon.
“Any time there is an inter-pro we always say the easiest thing to get is the physicality and motivation because it is an inter-pro.
“Some of us have to dial it down because lads are probably getting too frantic and ampted up on a Tuesday when we are not playing until the Saturday. A lot of the guys want to put their best foot forward going forward for the following game against Ulster.
“We have a lot to play for still. I know we don’t have as much because we already have that spot secured. But for players, personally as a team, to get in for that quarter-final game is huge.
“We leave that job to the coaches, let them worry three or four weeks in advance. We just have to worry about the weekend. That is the easy job we have.
“They will have all of the analysis done to feedback to us on Monday after we have reviewed Munster and then we will move on.”