Friday 26 May 2017

'I'll be doing everything in my power to get that first cap'

The Big Interview: Cian Bohane

Cian Bohane’s Munster career has been hampered by injury. Picture: Sportsfile
Cian Bohane’s Munster career has been hampered by injury. Picture: Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Luckily, he didn't hold his breath on the pint of beer owed to him, but a first senior try for Munster was more than enough to satisfy Cian Bohane's thirst at Rodney Parade in September.

He has made five appearances for Munster this term, but the most memorable outing was definitely the 20-16 away win against Dragons in Round 3.

Munster trailed 16-13 in the 56th minute, before CJ Stander fed Conor Murray off the back of a scrum, halfway between the Dragons' 22 and 10-metre line.

It was a wonderful set-play from Munster, Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal orchestrated the move and created the space for Ronan O'Mahony to burst through the Welsh defence.

O'Mahony found Darren Sweetnam on the right wing and just as the Cork wing was set to touch down, he was tackled by Hallom Amos. The ball was spilled but Bohane got to it just before Angus O'Brien could save the day for Dragons.

It was one Rebel youngster sparing the blushes of another, but despite scoring his first try for Munster, and sealing the win - Bohane hasn't forgotten about the pint.

"He owes me a pint. I am still waiting on it," jokes Bohane.

"The fact that we won the game it was a different mood altogether. It was funny. Axel, God rest him, said afterwards once it never, ever happens again I don't care.

"It's something that 'Sweets' will learn from and it's something he will never do again. But it was just a bit of a laugh and a joke in the dressing room afterwards.

"Everyone wants to score their first try where you run the length of the pitch beating 50 players. But it's just great to be able to say I got on the score-sheet in a Munster jersey. It's a good feeling. One of my other goals for the season was to play in a European Cup game. If you are playing in those games it's a sign that you are progressing.

"That would be the next one for me. I'll be doing everything in my power to put my hand up and get that cap."

It has been a steady rise through the ranks for the PBC student but at the start of 2016-'17, the 25-year-old began to establish himself in midfield.

Caps have been hard to come by for Bohane due to injury and the Cork man is currently recovering from a foot injury he picked up in the 28-14 victory over Edinburgh at Thomond Park.

That was his first start for Munster and he played all 80 minutes in that game, and featured again in the clash with Zebre the following week. He did not flag the broken metatarsal until after he played with Munster 'A' against London Welsh in the B&I Cup.

Squashed

"I remember I got tackled in the Edinburgh game. One of their players tackled me from behind and came down on my foot so it nearly got squashed into the ground. But it could be worse so I should be fine.

"It didn't show up then until I had the X-ray on it, the Monday after the game against London Welsh. I played for three weeks after Edinburgh but it hurt a small bit after the B&I Cup game.

"Then after the MRI on the Monday it showed up that I had a fractured metatarsal. I am out for about six weeks or something and in the overall scheme I have had worse."

It seems like a minor setback in comparison to when Bohane ruptured his ACL and PCL in the pre-season game against London Irish in the Waterford RSC at the beginning of 2015-'16.

And after he signed a two-year contract extension at the beginning of the year, Bohane is looking forward to the upcoming weeks and months.

He lives with Niall Scannell now, and his online Bachelor of Arts, Strength and Conditioning course, with Setanta College, will keep him occupied during his recovery.

Bohane is in his fourth season with Munster and the added impetus of Division 1A rugby of Young Munster will hopefully take him on to the new level. Ian Keatley is backs' coach at the Limerick club and Bohane enjoys how the Cookies operate.

"I know Ian really well and at Young Munster with the coaching staff in place and there are such great players, that it is nearly player-driven.

"Obviously we have conversations with the coaches and they point things out. But with Keats it's just a constant conversation. Everyone gives their opinion on things. But I know the lads from a skills' perspective have benefited from Ian being there for the last year and a bit.

"I joined Young Munster when I came up here. And it was one of those things, for myself and getting exposure at the highest level, if I wasn't playing for Munster I needed to be joining a 1A club.

"It is unfortunate because Dolphin are a club I hold close to my heart and I still do. Young Munster welcomed me with open arms and the coaching staff of Gearoid Prendergast, and Ger Slattery, Donn O'Sullivan and Ian Keatley, they have really helped me out so it's exciting."

And another coach that Bohane owes so much too is Anthony Foley. Bohane has grown as a player in the last few seasons at Munster, and much of that has to be attributed to the late Munster and Ireland legend.

"It's strange not having him around. It's just surreal there is no other word to describe. It is one of those ones where you are walking around expecting to see him. Everyone feels the same way. It's different."

Irish Independent

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