Sunday 20 August 2017

Rassie Erasmus not getting carried away after bonus-point victory over Leicester

Rassie Erasmus was delighted with his team's display against Leicester
Rassie Erasmus was delighted with his team's display against Leicester

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus was proud of how his charges played in demolishing Champions Cup rivals Leicester 38-0 at Thomond Park.

The in-form Irish province stayed top of Pool One after picking up a precious try-scoring bonus point in the emphatic victory over the Aviva Premiership side, who had claimed a home-and-away double over Munster in the pool stages last season.

South African centre Jaco Taute bagged a brace of second-half tries, with Simon Zebo touching down in the first half, while Munster were also awarded a 71st-minute penalty try which saw full-back George Worth become the third Leicester player to be sin-binned.

The Tigers, licking their wounds after a record European loss, do at least have next Saturday's rematch at Welford Road to get their teeth into.

Erasmus said: "With the quality of players in the Leicester side and them beating us last season home and away, we were a bit nervous about the whole game and we never thought about getting five points out of it - our aim was always to win the game, so it is an absolute bonus to get the fourth try at the end.

"They are a team we respect so much. They have brilliant individuals, are really well coached, so we are really happy with the performance, but I'm sure when we wake up (on Sunday) morning we know we have to go over there in a week's time. We won't get carried away.

"It will be a tough challenge (next Saturday). We are under no illusions. Interesting things happen if you look at Glasgow going away to Racing 92 (on Saturday) and winning there. We will enjoy (Saturday night) and look realistically at how we played.

"I think we will be fairly happy with the intensity and the commitment, those kind of things. There were some tactical and some little technical errors. We needed a lot of intensity and commitment to win the game."

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill insisted his team can reverse the result at Welford Road in round four.

"I'm disappointed with the performance, full stop - there is no getting away from that," he said. "The reality, and it starts with me, is that the performance was not acceptable - 38-0 is not where we want to be.

"We have some important players missing, but that is no excuse for where the performance was (on Saturday).

"The one good point is that we bring Munster to Welford Road next week. We have it all to do. We have to salvage some pride from where we were this evening because our two away games in this pool so far have been pretty disastrous for us.

"We can turn it around. We have to go back and deal with it on Monday. We have to be very honest with ourselves and make sure we win those physical battles or at least match them in the physical battles.

"Munster played exceptionally well. All credit to them - no issues on that. They were very good - good players, well coached. They played very well and deserved the win. The one thing we have controlled very well over the past six weeks is the territory and field position, and we didn't control it well (on Saturday night).

"We put ourselves under pressure, we kicked poorly and invited Munster to run at us. We got punished, whether that is through penalties in the first instance. You keep letting sides such as Munster, who are quality, run at you in the first half of the field, you are going to get penalised, get blokes sent to the bin or concede tries, which is exactly what we did."

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