Saturday 19 August 2017

Defeat not an option -- Varley

Munster hooker Damien Varley says that victory over Benetton Treviso tomorrow night in the Pro12 is crucial if they are to keep alive their hopes of becoming the first side to retain the title, WRITES JOHN FALLON.

Their 33-17 loss to Ulster in Ravenhill at the weekend -- their fourth successive away defeat in the competition -- leaves Tony McGahan's men just hanging on to a play-off place.

Munster are fourth in the table, three points ahead of Cardiff Blues, who have a game in hand against second-from-bottom Newport Gwent Dragons, and Varley says they can't allow further slippage.

"It is not an option to lose at home," said the 28-year old.

"By our standards we want to be in a better position than we are. A win at home will be massive for us, in the league and in preparation for the following week.

"We can win tournaments. We've been winning but not well. And we've made a lot of mistakes around the field. We need to sharpen and become more ruthless in attack. We've been on the back foot."

Varley, who is recovering from a stinger arm injury, feels January is always a crucial month.

"Everyone is back together and it is a big week in preparation," he said. "We expect a tough battle from Treviso, who will be encouraged by their Heineken Cup form as well as their results this season in the Pro12."

Irish Independent

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