Friday 25 May 2018

'We'll have few cans of Dutch Gold' - Donnacha Ryan's reaction after he plots Racing's defeat of Munster

Munster's Irish scrum half Conor Murray (R) tries to break away from Racing's Irish lock Donnacha Ryan (L) during the European Champions Cup rugby union match between Racing 92 and Munster on January 14, 2018 at the U Arena in Nanterre, near Paris. / AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)
Munster's Irish scrum half Conor Murray (R) tries to break away from Racing's Irish lock Donnacha Ryan (L) during the European Champions Cup rugby union match between Racing 92 and Munster on January 14, 2018 at the U Arena in Nanterre, near Paris. / AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

Donnacha Ryan admitted it was 'a bit weird' as he played a central role in Racing 92's thrilling 34-30 win against his former side Munster in the Champions Cup in Paris.

An immense kicking display by Racing skipper Maxime Machenaud, including two penalties in the closing four minutes, snatched victory from Munster to leave Pool 4 in the Champions Cup wide open.

Munster still lead the French side by a point, but will now have to beat Castres at home in the final round at Thomond Park to guarantee winning the pool and staying in the hunt for a home quarter-final.

Ryan admitted the clash with his former team-mates was a strange experience, as he revealed he was preparing to share some beer with his Munster pals.

"It was a bit weird alright," said Ryan as he summed up his clash with his old colleagues. "You kind of get to understand what some of the guys do on the other side of the ruck anyway; few things I wouldn't have known before.

"I'm sure no TV cameras will pick it up, ah no I'm only joking. It was really good, good craic ... very enjoyable. Ah ya we'll have a few cans of Dutch Gold anyway with the (Munster) boys and we'll take it from there.

"We started very well, but you know the way the Munster guys are, they play with real heart and they came back at us in the second half.

"We got a bit lucky in the end and we just managed to dog it out. We were lucky to come out of it on the right side against a fantastic Munster team.

"The priority was to win the game first and we will take it from there. That's the beauty of the Champions Cup - everyone will be glued to round six."

Munster director of rugby Johann van Graan is still eyeing a home quarter-final in the Champions Cup despite his side's narrow defeat in Paris.

Defeat at the death in the first Champions Cup game at the new indoor U Arena means Munster lead Pool 4 by a single point from Racing going into the final round of matches.

Munster host Castres at Thomond Park, while Racing have to go to Welford Road to face Leicester.

"It is in our own hands and we are at Thomond Park next week. We are right in this competition and hopefully we can get a home quarter-final," said Van Graan.

"It was a fantastic game of rugby, although as a team we are very disappointed to lose. We put in a lot of effort and the attitude of the guys was fantastic.

"We didn't have a great start and but for one championship-winning moment we lost in the last five minutes we could have walked away with four or five points.

"I am very happy with the bonus point and we are looking forward to being back in Thomond Park.

"We could have had a better start, but maybe the noise and the quickness of the ball in the first two minutes caught us off guard a bit.

"I thought we adapted well, but those two goal kicks that hit the post made a difference. We'll take the point though."

Munster's Ireland and British and Irish Lions number eight CJ Stander was pleased to pick up the point and remain in control of the pool.

"We always knew it was going to be a tough game because they can score tries out of nothing. They started very well and we had to keep them out for a while," said Stander.

"It would have been great to get it done this week, but now we go back to Thomond Park and get the chance to rectify what happened in Castres. If we can win that we will be top of the group.

"We need to make sure we pitch up mentally because it will be another tough game, but if we win we are in."

Online Editors

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