Planet Rugby

Clarke thriving on Connacht support

18th December 2013 13:57

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CONNACHT CELEBRATION HEINEKEN

Landmark win: Connacht

Connacht second row Craig Clarke has praised the club's supporters for creating an outstanding atmosphere at the Sportsground.

Clarke arrived from double Super Rugby champions the Chiefs earlier this year in a major signing for the Irish side.

Now having captained the team in last weekend's Heineken Cup loss to Toulouse at home, Clarke has recognised the immense support offered up by the Sportsground faithful before welcoming Newport Gwent Dragons this weekend.

"Even when we haven't got the result, the supporters are so loud in cheering us off the field," Clarke told the South Wales Argus.

"This is so new to me, I've never experienced anything like it. And the first time I really experienced it was after the Saracens game (the English side edged their Heineken Cup tie 23-17), and it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

"It's somewhat alien to me but I really appreciate it. It makes us want to play better and perform for this group of supporters who are so passionate and loyal."

Focusing on the task of lifting Connacht off the bottom of the Pro12 when they face the Dragons, Clarke focused on the need to take the kind of performance Connacht produced in their stunning win over Toulouse two weeks ago and to reproduce it again in the league.

"It's back to the bread and butter of the Rabo this week and we need to get off the bottom of that table," added Clarke.

"We have to bottle some of what we brought to Europe and ensure we get the same accuracy as well as the heart in our next game against the Dragons."

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