They haven't gone away, you know.
Connacht have had a difficult start to their Pro12 defence, but any idea that they're a one-hit wonder was blown away in the Sportsground last night. The Westerners came from behind to secure a heroic 23-21 over Toulouse, having trailed 21-11 at half-time.
It was a thunderous second-half display by Connacht, encouraged as it was by a manic Sportsground. Pat Lam told media afterwards that he "did a rally call at the start of the week, and asked everyone from Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Mayo and Galway to all get here and make the atmosphere".
That they certainly did, and we adored John Muldoon's post-match quote that summed up the raucousness of the Sportsgrounds. He said that the home crowd is worth an added 5% in performance level. Then he dropped in these lovely words:
There’s belief in ourselves, there’s belief in our ability, but when you’ve 9,000 crazy western people shouting at you, it’ll give you that couple of percent that you need.
9,000 crazy western people might just catch on.
There was bedlam afterwards. Have a look at the mad crowd huddled around Bundee Aki post-game:
They're not going away.