Monday 23 October 2017

Laulala on mission to banish demons with Leinster scalp

Declan Rooney

Munster centre Casey Laulala is hoping this weekend will see his side complete a double mission: recover from last weekend's horror show against the Ospreys and defeat their arch rivals Leinster.

Munster are under pressure at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow evening to recover from back-to-back away defeats to Ulster and Ospreys, ahead of their Heineken Cup opener against Racing Metro.

But fleet-footed Laulala is confident of a positive few weeks for Rob Penney's side -- providing they can get over their 30-15 mauling by the Ospreys.

"We have massive, massive games coming up and we have to learn quickly and move forward. That starts with Leinster next week and Racing to come after that," said Laulala, who has impressed in his four Pro12 appearances to date.

"It is all to play for this weekend. We want to go into the Heineken Cup playing well and full of confidence so this weekend's game is vital.

"Our last game wasn't acceptable, we just need to front up and move forward from that," said Samoa-born Laulala (pictured), who picked up the first of his two caps for the All Blacks alongside Doug Howlett against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2004.

Despite failing to score a try for the first time this season, one positive to come from their Liberty Stadium defeat was the first fielding of the Laulala-Keith Earls centre partnership.

Up to now James Downey has impressed enough in the No 12 shirt to earn a call-up to the Irish training squad, but Laulala thinks the most recent duo can conjure some magic if they are selected together again.

"It is hard to say how we went, we were dominated in all parts of the game, but hopefully we'll get another chance together," said the 31-year-old.

"But the rotation is there and whoever is in the midfield will do a good job for us. James and Keith have done a great job for us already."

Irish Independent

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