Dave Heffernan insists Connacht must stick with their own style if they are to upset Leinster in Friday night's Heineken Champions Cup clash against Leinster.

The westerners have suffered two heavy defeats to the URC champions this season.

They went down 45-8 at the end of March and suffered a 47-19 defeat at the RDS in December.

However, Andy Friend’s side were in both games at half-time, leading 8-7 in the match nine days ago, and trailing by just seven points in the first game.

Connacht recorded a hard-fought win over Benetton on the weekend, fighting back late on to claim a 21-17 win that ended a two-game losing streak, which also included a 56-8 defeat to Edinburgh.

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The 2016 Pro12 champions are known for their fast, open style of play and they believe that is their best chance of success against Leinster.

"We did need [that win in Italy], it had been a tough couple of weeks," hooker Dave Heffernan told RTÉ Sport.

"We felt we let ourselves down a bit with those two performances.

"I’m not sure if it’s [about hitting Leinster with something] different. In the first 15 minutes in the previous game, we did a lot of good things.

"Unfortunately, we had a lot of unforced errors, I myself had a couple that let us down and cost us big time.

"It’s just sticking to what we are good at for 80 minutes and we didn’t do that for the last two games against Leinster.

"We know we are good enough to put it up to them, it’s just doing it for 80 minutes because they are such a quality side that if you make any mistakes they punish you.

"We need to be on our 'A' game or else we will get blown away.

"If we don’t put in our best performance they are good enough to put 40 or 50 points on you and they are good enough to do that to any team in the world."

Former Leinster and Ireland forward Jamie Heaslip hit out at Connacht in the aftermath of the loss to Leinster, saying that a lack of consistency, over both the season and individual games, was costing them dearly.

Leinster have beaten Connacht twice this season

Asked how they could work on more coherent performances, number 8 Paul Boyle said: "It’s cutting out errors and that starts from the first day of your training week where you don’t let guys away with the small stuff that feeds on into the game.

"So it’s having a real focus on the training pitch and that will feed into the game.

"That’s what we’ve been speaking about over the last few weeks, those small errors and letting people into the game.

"It happened again at the weekend, we gave away 18 penalties and that’s not good enough, we spoke about that at the meeting this morning. That’s a big focus.

"I think we are going to give our best performance of the season.

"This is what the last few months and the whole season has been building towards these knock-out games. We have spoken about it long enough, now it’s about putting a performance in place.

"We will be nailed on for the game."

Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster was also asked about the type of challenge he expects on Friday.

"They will be true to their values," he said.

"They are a very well coached side, have an impressive attacking line-up and repertoire so I don’t see why they would deviate away from that when it’s clearly their point of difference.

"We’ve got to be ready for that. Obviously, there’ll be new plays and things they’ve not tried before that we’ve need to be ready for. They are so well coached that they can come up with all sort of things that you’ve not seen before.

"That, plus the intensity and the emotion from the players and the crowd will make it a really difficult game."

Leinster, meanwhile, will wait until later in the week to make calls on injured foursome Andrew Porter (ankle), Rónan Kelleher (shoulder), Jordan Larmour (hip) and Michael Milne (calf) for the game.

"Potentially, it’s a two-legged affair so we’ll see how the rest of the week goes but yeah we’re hopeful over the next week or so," said Lancaster of their chances of playing in Galway.

The former England head coach also confirmed that Johnny Sexton (above), who was rested against Connacht and Munster "trained well today" and was good to go.

Watch highlights of all the weekend's rugby action on Against the Head on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, 8pm

Follow Connacht v Leinster (Friday 8pm), Toulouse v Ulster (Saturday 3.15pm) and Exeter v Munster (Saturday 5.30pm) via our live blogs on rte.ie/sport and on the RTÉ News App or listen to live radio coverage (Connacht v Leinster, Toulouse v Ulster) on RTÉ Radio 1.

Paul Boyle and Dave Heffernan were speaking ahead of the crunch Heineken Champions Cup last-16 clash between Connacht and Leinster this Friday. This is the 27th consecutive season Heineken has been a proud partner of European rugby, and the fifth season of the Heineken and Rugby Players Ireland partnership.