Friday 24 March 2017

Reds regroup ahead of final push

Keith Earls celebrates with Munster supporters, from left, Jenn Dinan from Ballincollig, Jayne Dinan from Skibbereen and Pauline Carey from Skibbereen after the Pro12 victory over Treviso in Italy last weekend Photo: Sportsfile
Keith Earls celebrates with Munster supporters, from left, Jenn Dinan from Ballincollig, Jayne Dinan from Skibbereen and Pauline Carey from Skibbereen after the Pro12 victory over Treviso in Italy last weekend Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Munster coach Anthony Foley wants his men to regroup this week and launch a big bid for Pro12 glory for the remainder of the season.

Munster, like every other team in the Pro12 except Connacht, will be concentrating solely on the league after not making it through to the knockout stages of European competition.

Munster, bidding to join Leinster and Ospreys with four league titles, are in a good position going into the second half of the season.

Although Foley's men are in sixth position, they are just four points off Scarlets at the top with a game in hand on a lot of teams bidding for glory.

Eight wins and four losses has been the outcome so far as Munster bid for a title they last held in 2010-11.

"The break this week was welcome, it's no harm for everyone to get a week away from one another and freshen things up when we come back," said Foley.

Munster will resume their campaign on Sunday week when they take on Ospreys at Irish Independent Park in Cork. Their remaining ten games are evenly split between home and away, with one trip left to Scotland, Wales and Italy and two Irish derbies on the road.

After the Ospreys game, Munster face two away matches in succession, travelling to champions Glasgow Warriors in a refixed clash on February 20.

They will be back in Italy for the third time in just over a month when they will hope to repeat their Champions Cup success over Treviso.

A revenge mission will be on the cards in the next home match when they entertain Dragons at Thomond Park on March 5.

The final trip of the season to Wales will come on March 18 when they take on the Blues in Cardiff, with Zebre coming to Thomond Park a week later.

A huge crowd will be expected at the Aviva Stadium on April 2 for the latest showdown with arch-rivals Leinster.

And Foley's men will be on the road two weeks later when they will be bidding for revenge against Connacht at the Sportsground, a week after Pat Lam's men take on Grenoble in the Challenge Cup quarter-final.

Munster will finish with two home matches, entertaining Edinburgh at Irish Independent Park before hosting current leaders Scarlets at Thomond Park.

Irish Independent

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