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Time to stand up and fight


Anthony Foley

Anthony Foley

Anthony Foley

Anthony Foley's master plan in this fixture at Thomond Park revolved around doing to Saracens what they like doing to others.

Fly-half Ian Keatley put the ball to flight and sent his runners straight ahead to fight for the ball when it came down from the clouds.

They loaded the pressure onto Saracens, the mistakes came and Munster scavenged frantically to give Ian Keatley a platform he turned into his own private stage.

It was simple, direct, unsightly to the eye. Munster won't have minded too much how the optics looked. This is a province that embraces winning, no matter how it comes.

The way in which they took the game to Clermont at Stade Michelin is a good template for this one too.

The guaranteed travelling red army and the mental mindset that removes any advantage the home venue might bring to their opponents makes this a real 50-50 encounter.

The psychological tone has been set by Paul O'Connell's rating of Munster's odds as "slim" and a reference to 'The Miracle Match' against another English club Gloucester back in 2002-2003.

Munster have made their reputation out of making the improbable happen.

They reserve a fifth gear for Europe whereas Saracens cannot afford to drop their cultural standards in the highly competitive Premiership.

A glancing review of Sarries form in their domestic Championship first takes you back to last Friday when Gloucester took them out by a single point.

The most encouraging aspect of that for Munster was the number of chances the Cherry & Whites made and didn't take.


The renowned, swarming 'Wolfpack' defensive system malfunctioned. The organisation, dedication to principle and cohesion was absent without leave.

The South African-owned club has won five out of six on the artificial surface at Allianz Park and they have earned a European pedigree.

It is noteworthy, however, that their only loss at home came at the hands of Northampton Saints and their beastly horde of forwards.

While Munster do not possess the same overall physical strength as the English champions, they do have all the dog to get it done.

It is this inbuilt confrontational nature that clawed back a point at Clermont and that has taken them out of many European holes.