Hansen in the wars but set for battle against Stormers


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Hansen in the wars but set for battle against Stormers Hansen in the wars but set for battle against Stormers

By John Fallon

IRISH winger Mack Hansen says his memory of Connacht’s historic Pro12 success in 2016 didn’t extend much beyond the outlandish odds which were available at the time if someone backed them and Leicester City for a double.

Connacht duly delivered in the Pro12 final over Leinster in Murrayfield and the Foxes also maintained their challenge to capture the Premier League crown for the first time.

“I remember hearing about it because people were showing what an accumulator would have cost for Connacht and Leicester City to win the Premier League at the time, it was like put on €10 and win a couple of hundred thousand,” said Hansen.

“So it was definitely a big talking point around the world, I didn’t know too much about Connacht at the time but yeah, you knew it was a bit of a fairytale story.”

The Irish international now gets the chance to add another layer to that fairytale when Connacht head to Cape Town this weekend just 80 minutes away from another league final showdown against Irish opposition.

And after seeing off Ulster 15-10 in the quarter-finals in Belfast at the weekend, Hansen is determined they have a right crack off champions the Stormers in South Africa on Saturday nd set up a final date against either Leinster or Munster.

“They’re a good team, there’s no two ways about it, especially over there,” added Hansen. “To lose only one game at home in two seasons is quality but it’s semi-finals time and anything can happen.

“We showed that last week and we’re going over there to do a job, we’re not just going to lay down and take it from them.

Connacht head to Cape Town with a clean bill of health with Hansen showing no ill-effects — apart from a nasty gash on his forehead — and a heavy clash of heads with the other winger John Porch on Friday night.

“Yeah, I really didn’t know what was going on. It wasn’t that I was concussed or anything but it was just a really, really deep sting. It just stung heaps, like I got stung by a couple of bees, I don’t really know if that’s the best way to describe it.

“Then I felt blood coming down and it wasn’t until after . . .  they took my headgear off and the three doctors were like, ‘Oh, Jesus’ and I was like, ‘that can’t be great’.

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