Friday 20 July 2018

'Two of the best coaches I've ever seen in action' - Hanrahan hails departing duo and plays down Ireland chances

JJ Hanrahan of Munster is tackled by Ashton Hewitt of Dragons
JJ Hanrahan of Munster is tackled by Ashton Hewitt of Dragons

MUNSTER star JJ Hanrahan paid tribute to departing coaches Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber, hailing them as "two of the best coaches I've ever worked with" after kicking all seven conversions in a 49-6 romp against Dragons at Irish Independent Park.

"In my view, they're two of the best coaches I've ever seen in action. Being her was unbelievable, I've just been like a sponge for the last few months and it's sad to see them go.

"They're going on to better things now in South Africa and it's nothing more than they deserve in terms of where they want their career to go in terms of representing their country."

Hanrahan played down any talk of a potential Irish call-up; "I'm just focused on Munster at the moment."

Munster were sluggish from the off but once Rory Scannell nabbed the opening try in the 21st minute, there was only going to be one winner.

Simon Zebo, excluded from Joe Schmidt's Ireland squad, offered another stunning riposte with a second try in successive weeks as Munster led 14-6 at the break.

The floodgates opened in the second-half, with replacement Sam Arnold nothing his first tries in provincial rugby, while Kevin O'Byrne got his first score in Munster colours too to add to efforts from Darren Sweetnam and Jack O'Donoghue.

"The start was tough," said Hanrahan.

"We had a few plans we wanted, putting in mauls and taking juice out of their legs and then our backs started to get it moving wide. Overall, it worked well.

"I've been working hard on my kicking over the years and these are the night you enjoy."

Online Editors

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