Wednesday 26 June 2019

Anthony Foley's Munster game-plan will bear fruit, insists frustrated Sherry

Munster hooker Mike Sherry scores a try against Leiciester in Thomond Park, something which he admits the Reds are not doing enough of. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Munster hooker Mike Sherry scores a try against Leiciester in Thomond Park, something which he admits the Reds are not doing enough of. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Mike Sherry is an articulate ambassador for his team, but sometimes even the best talkers just don't have the words to quite capture their frustration at their side's shortcomings.

Never mind the ghosts of Christmases past, it will be the past fortnight that will haunt Munster's players over the festive period as they flash back to the numerous chances they had to put Leicester Tigers to the sword that they let pass them by.

It means they go into Sunday's derby with Leinster on the back of four defeats in a row and in danger of exiting Europe when they travel to Paris to meet French champions Stade Francais in the new year.

Yet they played some exhilarating rugby against the English side over the course of their back-to-back defeats, but something was missing when they got close to the line.


"Patience, composure, ruthlessness. . . all these words you can throw at it, we just need to get the job done," said Sherry, who has one Ireland cap.

"It's the last 10pc that wins you games, we're not doing it at the minute, which is very frustrating and disappointing. But the ingredients are there and we still have the belief that we can go to Stade and win there.

"We have Leinster and Ulster in the next two weeks so we're just going to keep doing what we're doing and just bring that extra 10pc. Whether we get there I'm not sure but. . .

"We're very, very close. It'd be more frustrating if we came over to Welford Road and didn't play well and got hockeyed by Leicester. I don't know if I'd feel more disappointed than I am now so it's a hard one to sum up."

Both Leinster and Munster need a lift from Sunday's interpro at Thomond park after a desperately disappointing December thus far.

Yet, the home team arguably have more to build on after their game-plan proved effective in getting them over the gainline and offloaded freely, but couldn't connect with their final pass or allowed the Tigers steal ball at pivotal moments.

Sherry believes that Anthony Foley's plan is one worth sticking to and called on his team-mates to have trust their skill-sets.

"We still have belief in this game-plan. We played with loads (of ball), we just need to finish it off," said the 27-year-old.

"We still have belief in it, we believe in what we're doing and we believed we could go over to Welford Road and win.

"Unfortunately it didn't happen but yeah, we did start very well, got a few turnovers, linked in with the backs, got a few kicks at goal. . . but we didn't capitalise."

Although it has been a bleak season for Irish provinces against English clubs so far, Sherry does not believe there was much between Munster and Leicester.

"I would not say there's a gulf at all. I think people watching the game wouldn't have said that either. They are a top team, it's a great place to play rugby and a tough place to win as we found out but there's definitely not a gulf. They have quality players across the pitch but so have we.

"They took their chances, we didn't take ours, same story as last week. Sorry, I can't say much more, it's very, very frustrating."

They will look to take that frustration out on their old enemy. With Leinster in a similar mood, Sunday should be tasty.

Irish Independent

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