Thursday 19 October 2017

Provinces flying the flag in Europe

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Johnny O'Connor

It was fantastic to see both Leinster and Munster get over the line in their respective Champions Cup quarter-finals last weekend, and who knows they could both be travelling to Murrayfield in May, writes Johnny O'Connor.

Leinster were brilliant in their victory over Wasps, but I have to admit, I expected more from my former club.

Wasps have accumulated a lot of top-quality players and spent a lot of money doing that, but the last time they won the European Cup was ten years ago.

But Leinster have been exceptional all season, and with the coaching set-up they have with Leo Cullen, Stuart Lancaster, John Fogarty and Girvan Dempsey, there is a lot great managerial minds there. Leinster have been a revelation with the amount of young players they have coming through.

Munster were great in their victory over Toulouse as well. They have gathered momentum and a real sense of cohesiveness this season. They are playing with huge passion and directness and I enjoy watching them.

Munster were always about the physicality and in-your-face mentality. That changed a bit under Rob Penney and they weren't comfortable with it. But now they are back playing the style of rugby that won them two European Cups - they have every chance against Saracens.

Irish Independent

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