Sport Rugby

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Foley: We can't afford any slip-ups

Anthony Foley
Anthony Foley

John Fallon

Munster coach Anthony Foley has warned his men not to make any assumptions as they bid for glory in the Guinness Pro12.

Foley said that league is the most competitive it has ever been this season, given that each team has something to play, and not just those in contention for semi-final places.

The change to the structure, which will see teams qualify for the Champions Cup through the Pro12, has ensured the most competitive league yet.

The top four will fill the semi-final spots, with the next two also qualifying for next season's Champions Cup, while seventh will be in a play-off.

Even at the bottom of the table, either Treviso or Zebre, who occupy the two lowest spots, are in a dogfight to qualify as the Italian representative in the Champions Cup, so they have everything to play for in the remaining four games.

"Everyone has their own cause to look after and you daren't take your eye off anybody or make any assumptions," said Foley. "When you look at the table you see everybody fighting."

He would love to be involved in this weekend's Champions Cup action but will use the absence of a match to prepare for a big finish to the season.

"It gives us an opportunity to get more players back on their feet and freshen up the guys that have been up at camp and haven't got a lot of rest."

Munster are third, level on points with Ulster, who are above them having a marginally better scoring average, but Foley said all they were concerned about at this stage is next weekend's trip to play Edinburgh.

The Scots, who won in Thomond Park on the opening weekend of the season, take on London Irish in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup on Sunday.

"We will look at Edinburgh against London Irish over in the Madejski and we'll look at what they did to Scarlets at Parc Y Scarlets, which was an impressive result for them.

"We will make sure we're properly prepared for them because in a run-in like this you can't afford any slip-ups, particularly when it's very tight at the top and teams in fifth and sixth are looking for you to slip up.

"So you've got to stay in control and focus on winning the game that's in front of you and not anything else," added Foley.

Irish Independent

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