Ronan Loughney insists Connacht’s new-found ruthless streak will allow them to overcome history and upset GUINNESS PRO12 leaders Ospreys on Friday night.
However, the Irish side travel to Swansea in the knowledge that they haven’t registered a league win over the Ospreys in Wales since the 2004-05 season – when they edged a low-scoring affair 10-9.
But prop Loughney says Connacht would rather focus on the present than the past and their ability to turn what were previously near-misses into victories so far this season will make all the difference.
“Last year we picked up a lot of losing bonus points but some of the stuff we’re doing this year means we’ve progressed and we’re getting over the line,” he said.
“Preparation is the big thing – Pat Lam places a massive emphasis on ticking every box before we get to the game.
“It has probably gone to another level this year in regards to clarity of your role and preparation for the game – we focus on the process beforehand.
“When you dot all the ‘I’s’ before the game it makes the matches a lot easier and you see the outcome of it with us getting tight games over the line.
“Also, a more ruthless mentality has helped us get a couple of wins on the board.
“But Friday is a massive game – it’s always tough against Ospreys in Wales and they are a quality side. So, we’ll have to be on the ball to get the win.”
Connacht picked up seven losing bonus points in the GUINNESS PRO12 last year on their way to finishing tenth but four wins out of six this time around has them sitting in fifth position.
According to Loughney, who made his Ireland debut in 2012, part of the reason for that is the improved depth at the club.
At the prop position alone, Loughney is in a battle with the likes of Rodney Ah You, Nathan White and Denis Buckley for playing time but the 29-year-old believes that competition can only be a good thing.
“The front row is a real strength of ours, which is great – you know if you’re not performing then someone else is going to step up and take your place,” added Loughney.
“I think not just the front row but we have real depth in the pack this year – as the year goes on and you get niggles and injuries it can make a massive difference to the team to have experienced, quality players to bring in or rotate.
“It’s a great position for us to be in and that kind of depth is something we maybe haven’t had in the past.”