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Tuesday 16 January 2018

Anthony Foley: We can't ask any more of the players after Leinster victory

Munster head coach Anthony Foley
Munster head coach Anthony Foley
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Munster head coach Anthony Foley praised his side after they overcame Leinster for the second time this season minus a number of frontline players.

The home side dominated proceedings at Thomond Park to defeat Matt O'Connor's side 28-13 courtesy of tries from CJ Stander, Andrew Conway and Dave O'Callaghan, plus the boot of Ian Keatley.

The IRFU player welfare programme may have robbed the festive fixture of some of its headline acts - including the likes of Peter O'Mahony, Paul O'Connell, Rob Kearney and Jamie Heaslip – while Foley also had to contend with injuries and three successive defeats leading into the match.

After the match he said Munster used the ball better than Leinster and were close to earning the bonus point but for a refereeing decision depriving the Red Army of a fourth try.

Read more: Matt O'Connor laments 'harsh' yellow card but admits Leinster were second best

"We built a lead and we managed to hold onto it," he said.

"We used it (the ball) a small bit better than Leinster. Any ball that broke we won it. We didn't have a whole pile of set-pieces to play off in the first half , but our unstructured game was quite good and we got good numbers around, got carries and remained patient in their half."

"You'd be greedy to talk about a fourth try but we were a referee decision away from getting one. There are aspects of the game we take away and will take into Connacht hopefully, though there are no guarantees."

"It's also nice to put an end to a run of losses."

Read more: Munster claim double over Leinster with comprehensive victory at Thomond Park

Foley admitted that he has got the maximum out of his squad with the number of enforced changes.

"We're down the four international lads obviously but we're down a whole chunk more injured and there are guys stepping up now."

"It's great for Neilly Cronin, he sat on the bench against Ulster, didn't get a run. He came in from Garryownen and he got five or six minutes and he's chuffed with that."

"We are down to the bare bones, but you don't hear us complaining. The boys get on with their job, jersey on, jersey off. It’s all credit to them, they are a great bunch of lads to work for."

"We can't ask any more of them."

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