Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dragons' lair has been hard to crack

Declan Rooney

Published 16/09/2016 | 02:30

Despite losing to Cardiff Blues last weekend at Irish Independent Park, Munster's director of rugby is happy that his side are ready for a third Welsh test in a fortnight (Stock picture)
Despite losing to Cardiff Blues last weekend at Irish Independent Park, Munster's director of rugby is happy that his side are ready for a third Welsh test in a fortnight (Stock picture)

It's two wins each in the last four seasons between Dragons and Munster at Rodney Parade, but Rassie Erasmus' side will have last year's heavy defeat on their minds in south Wales tomorrow.

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A 22-6 loss at the home of the Dragons came in the first week of December, a time of the season when Munster were preparing for their back-to-back Champions Cup weekends with Leicester Tigers. The previous week Connacht had won at Thomond Park.

And despite losing to Cardiff Blues last weekend at Irish Independent Park, Munster's director of rugby is happy that his side are ready for a third Welsh test in a fortnight.

Against the Blues there was plenty of positive play, but it was laced with some poor reads in defence and some sloppy kicking. On a perfect night for rugby it was an average showing from Munster, but Erasmus is hopeful that his troops can pull a smarter game-plan from the hat this time.

"The weather determines, or puts you into a situation where you have to play a different way and you have to live with that," said Erasmus.

"But then again on Friday there wasn't a problem with the weather so I think we must make that mind-switch. That comes with experience.

"It's basically a fundamental thing but it takes time to embed that.

"But it's something that everybody knows is obvious what we were doing wrong and that's the nice thing about the game if you're losing by one point, at least you know how to rectify."

Due to injuries, retirements and departures, Munster could well start tomorrow's game with just four of the side that started the corresponding fixture last season.

Keith Earls and Conor Murray are expected to return, while CJ Stander and Donnacha Ryan are also in line to feature.

Irish Independent

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