Foley: Treviso will be no Euro pushovers
Munster 18 Treviso 13
Published 07/09/2015 | 02:30
Anthony Foley insists that any notion that Treviso will be the whipping boys in their Champions Cup pool should be firmly put aside after Munster were stretched all the way in recording a narrow opening-weekend Pro12 victory over the Italians.
The victory at Thomond Park maintained Munster's 100pc home record against Treviso, but this was the narrowest of their six wins against the supposed weak link of Pool 4.
And while Munster were without their five Irish World Cup players, Treviso were missing seven and sent out a starting 15 which included nine non-Italians.
The vagaries of the modern game did not end there, with Shane Monahan's debut on the left wing ensuring that Munster started with a back three who were all from Leinster.
Munster will open their Champions Cup campaign, which also includes Leicester Tigers and French champions Stade Francais, against Treviso in Thomond Park in November, and while the composition of both sides will be much stronger after the World Cup, Foley said that it is apparent that the Italians have really upped their game.
"We know they're good, we had to work really hard to get a result ," said the coach.
"It's hard to come across teams four times in one year and we will know each other pretty well, and the competition between us could become a lot tighter again."
Foley was just pleased to get the win after being shocked at home by Edinburgh this time last year as he headed into his first campaign in charge.
But it was a disjointed display by last season's runners-up and a better performance will be needed for the trip to Ospreys next Sunday.
Munster trailed 7-6 at half-time, with two penalties by Ian Keatley - from three attempts - being offset by a good try from Treviso flanker Dean Budd, who skipped through a challenge from South African compatriot CJ Stander to score after 11 minutes.
But Stander, captaining the side in competitive action for the first time, recovered to score a brace of tries in the third quarter which turned the game in Munster's favour, although they never looked like getting a bonus point.
"We got two tries, we were down at half-time," added Foley.
"There were some things that will irk, we were inaccurate out there and that's something that you could maybe expect in week one in that not everything is going to be dotted and crossed."
Munster - F Jones; A Conway, D Johnston (C Bohane 69), R Scannell, S Monahan; I Keatley (T Bleyendaal 56), D Williams (C Sheridan 73); J Cronin (J Ryan 60), M Sherry, BJ Botha (S Archer 65); J Madigan (R Copeland 56), D Foley; D O'Callaghan, J O'Donoghue (S Buckley 69), CJ Stander.
Treviso - J Hayward; L Nitoglia, T Iannone, H Bacchin (S Ragusi), A Pratichetti; S Christie, C Smylie (A Lucchese 46); A De Marchi (M Zanusso 46), R Santamaria, R Harden (S Ferrari 59); D Naude (F Gerosa 46), T Palmer (JF Montauriol 68); R Barbieri (M Barbini 56), D Budd (L Bigo 76), B Steyn.
Ref - L Linton (SRU).