Thursday 23 March 2017

O'Leary hoping Munster's hot streak extends to derby glory

Already in the middle of their longest unbeaten streak in over a year, Munster scrum-half Tomas O'Leary is hopeful his side's "winning habit" will continue this weekend against Leinster.

A win on Saturday would be Munster's fifth in a row, their longest winning sequence since they went 10 games unbeaten in the spring of 2009.

And according to Cork-born O'Leary, the confidence that comes with winning games will stand to them if Saturday's match-up proves to be a close encounter.

"Obviously, it's early days in the season and there's a lot we have to work on, but we just want to get into the habit of winning," said the Dolphin man. "You know, winning is a habit and it's probably something we lost last year.

belief

"I think it just gives us more of a belief within the squad so that when games are close -- and the majority are -- we'll have the confidence to win the game in the last 20 minutes."

Saturday's clash promises to attract more than 50,000 spectators to the Aviva Stadium, which will set a new attendance record for the Magners League.

Despite the huge interest, however, O'Leary believes the game will be just the same as any other. He says: "I suppose it's just another league game where there are four points on offer.

"We've had a good start so far, so we're just looking at it in terms of trying to clock on another four points before we turn to a European mindset."

Munster, of course, have lost their last four league games against Leinster, a point not lost on O'Leary who has started on each occasion.

"Basically, they have been more physical than us and probably a bit more cynical in terms of executing their game plan," he said.

"Our set-piece has improved this year as well as our breakdown work. Hopefully, if we can get a good platform and improve our work at the breakdown, it will give us parity and quick ball to play off."

Irish Independent

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