Thursday 29 June 2017

Keatley: Rassie gives us a licence to thrill

Ian Keatley:
Ian Keatley: "I've done a lot of work on my drop-goals." Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Ian Keatley has revealed how Rassie Erasmus has given Munster a licence to have a go if they think something is on during a game.

The 29-year-old, who has played in all but two of Munster's 16 games this season, was the hero at the Sportsground at the weekend when he masterminded victory over his former side Connacht.

Keatley set up the only try of the game in atrocious conditions with an audacious cross-kick from behind his own line, then wrapped up the win with a drop-goal which put ten points between the sides.

But Keatley, now in his fifth season with Munster - where he has accumulated 1,034 points - said Erasmus has encouraged his men to have a go.

"Rassie preaches to play what you see, even if it's on your own try-line," he said. "I saw the space, kicked to the space and it was a great take by Andrew Conway. That led us up the pitch and we put them under pressure and mauled over."

Keatley, linked with a move to France at the end of the season, with reports indicating that Grenoble and Bayonne are interested, had no hesitation in going for the drop-goal which wrapped up the win 11 minutes from the end.

"I work hard on my kicking. I've done a lot of work on my drop-goals," he added.

"Sometimes you don't get to use them but it was nice leverage to put ten points between us".

Now Munster will look to continue that good form into Europe when they head to Paris for the first of two Champions Cup games against Racing 92 in three weeks.

Showdown

In between, Munster head to Glasgow, but it looks like Thomond Park will be full when Ronan O'Gara returns there in the opposing camp for the first time.

Munster yesterday confirmed that over 20,000 tickets have been sold for the January 21 concluding pool game when they hope to seal a quarter-final place in the Champions Cup for the first time in three years.

Munster went unbeaten in 2016 at Thomond Park and with five capacity crowds at the Limerick venue already this season, they will be hoping that victory in Paris this weekend will leave them in a position to win the group when they host the French champions.

Irish Independent

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