Connacht captain Dave Heffernan said the good vibes just keep on coming for the Westerners who are now relishing the chance to bloody the nose of their provincial rivals over the festive period.

They ran in for five tries last night at Perpignan to keep their push towards the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup on track.

That was a fifth win in a row for Connacht, leaving them two points behind Pool 3 leaders Sale Sharks. And flanker Heffernan is revelling in their improvement ahead of the looming Pro14 clashes with Leinster, Ulster and Munster. 

"There is a lot of good things happening," he said. "We're definitely trending in the right direction. There's a lot of positives. We're winning games where we probably would have fell off last year. 

"There's a lot of guys in there putting their hands up for the inter-pro games over the next couple of weeks. Winning is a habit. To get five wins on the bounce, it's only the third time we've ever done it.

"We're coming into a huge block of games, playing three of the top sides in Europe starting with Leinster, which is going to be a massive test. It's one we're all really excited for." 

Head coach Andy Friend heaped praise on his charges. Any win in France is to be lauded, but this was especially sweet given the visitors actually made a poor start at Stade Aime Giral.

"We had to weather a fair storm in the first 10 or 12 minutes and then for about 20 minutes in the second half, but we did that," said Friend. "To put five tries on Perpignan in their own stadium is a good effort.

"The way they started, there was a lot of emotion, a lot to play for. We knew it was going to be tough. It's pleasing to get a good squad win like that.

"After every victory we've sat in the dressing room and said, 'that wasn't perfect'. The message is, it won't ever be perfect, but as long as we're not getting complacent, not getting comfortable with just getting the win... we are looking at it straight after games.

"They're a great group of blokes. They'll keep working hard and I know they will get better."