Sunday 26 February 2017

Murray believes Munster will now show their class

John Fallon

Munster's Conor Murray. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster's Conor Murray. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Conor Murray believes Saturday's clash with arch rivals Leinster is the perfect opportunity for Munster to show what they are made of and finish a disappointing campaign on a high.

Failure to make the knockout stages of the Champions Cup for the second year in a row has left Munster needing a big finish to the Pro12 to rescue their season, but they have a battle on their hands and Murray admits there have been a lot of frustrations.

"Obviously losses, not getting out of our group in the Champions Cup, not performing to the standard that we set for ourselves," he cites as examples of those frustrations.

"You could talk for a while about those kind of things. The positive I take from that is you know how good we are and the quality we have in our team and we just have got to show it. It can be frustrating when you are trying your best every week and it's not coming off.

"This weekend is a huge chance to show how good we can be when we are probably going to be written off so I'm looking forward to it."

The weeks in Irish camp for the Six Nations has again increased the knowledge Munster and Leinster players have of each other.

"It could give you an insight into some of the threats that Leinster will bring and maybe certain areas we can target. They're going to be saying the exact same thing so it will be an interesting tactical battle.

"I suppose the knowledge we have of each other can definitely be of benefit for both sides so it's a trade-off there so it's going to be an interesting battle."

He got a laugh out of Francis Saili's assertion that he can never see New Zealand losing to Ireland, and Murray agreed that the time may be right to get the twice-capped All Black to throw some money on a wager. "I'm sure he said it to get a rise. He's a proud Kiwi and he's always going to say that."

The two games against New Zealand in November, first in Soldier Field in Chicago and then in Dublin a fortnight later, might offer the chance to finally get that first win over the All Blacks.

"It's hugely exciting looking further down the track at the November internationals coming up. Last time I came up against the All Blacks and a number of my international colleagues played them we came very, very close.

"It's a long way off but it's hugely exciting. It's very rare to play over in Soldier Field and it's a squad everyone wants to be involved in, so it starts with playing well with your province and we'll deal with that then."

Irish Independent

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