Sunday 25 September 2016

Foley: We're ready for big finish

John Fallon

Published 08/04/2016 | 02:30

The Munster players in a huddle before last weekend’s Pro12 showdown with Leinster – Anthony Foley says the players are primed for a strong finish to the season Photo: Sportsfile
The Munster players in a huddle before last weekend’s Pro12 showdown with Leinster – Anthony Foley says the players are primed for a strong finish to the season Photo: Sportsfile

Munster coach Anthony Foley said they are primed for a strong finish to the season as the battle for semi-final places in the Pro12 and qualification for the Champions Cup looks set to go down to the wire.

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The most competitive Pro12 campaign ever promises to throw up a few surprises as it heads into the real business end.

The primary aim for most teams is qualification for the Champions Cup but with about seven teams in contention for the four semi-final spots in the Pro12, it promises to be a cracking end to the campaign over the next month or so.

Munster's 16-13 loss to Leinster in the Aviva Stadium last weekend has left little wriggle room.

And coach Foley knows they need to win their final away match of the campaign against Connacht in Galway tomorrow week to maintain pressure at the top.

"It's going to be a tough game in Galway, we know that. I don't think anyone would be fooled if I said otherwise.

"We've got to win our next game, that's the most important thing and we need to get back on track and win again," said Foley.

History will be in their favour and while Connacht won in Thomond Park in November for the first time in the professional era, Munster have dominated this fixture in the league in recent years.

This will be the 28th league meeting between the sides and Munster have won 23 of the previous encounters. Connacht have won three and there has been one draw.

Munster have emerged victorious in ten of the 12 league games which Connacht have hosted, either at the Sportsground or at Dubarry Park in Ballinasloe, and Foley will be hoping they maintain that record.

Munster have availed of the free weekend to get their preparations cranked up for the remaining games in the league, with home ties to come against fellow contenders Edinburgh and Scarlets.

"The game is about control and applying pressure," added Foley.

"We showed good control to get into the position to win the game against Leinster and we just need to keep our foot on the throat when we're in there.

"I think that will come," he said.

Irish Independent

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