Thursday 18 January 2018

All our attention on Pro12 - Scannell

Niall Scannell. Photo: Sportsfile
Niall Scannell. Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Munster and Ireland hooker Niall Scannell says excitement about reaching the Champions Cup semi-final will be put on the back-burner for a few weeks as they seek to nail down a home semi-final in the Guinness Pro12.

Scannell played a massive part in Rassie Erasmus' side reaching the last four after their win over Toulouse, but a massive challenge is expected again tomorrow in Irish Independent Park against Glasgow.

Warriors have been stern opposition for Munster this season, in both the Pro12 and Champions Cup.

The 38-17 win at Thomond Park in Munster's first game following the death of Anthony Foley was a hugely convincing display from the province, but in the other two meetings, just one and two points separated the sides in Scotstoun.

And Scannell says the side are keen to focus on that test and park their thoughts of reaching the European final.

"Obviously, we are massively excited by the win, but we have massive games in the Pro12 now with Glasgow and then Ulster," he said. "We have to kind of leave it go and put Europe on the back burner until it comes up again.

"We will probably have to calm ourselves down a bit and concentrate on the Pro12."

A few weeks on from his international debut, reaching the semi-final against Saracens is further excitement in a huge season for the Cork hooker. And he says confidence is high now as a result of the team's achievements.

"That was the first quarter-final for a lot of us and there was fellas in the group pushing how important it was and that we haven't done ourselves justice in this stage of Europe a lot of times.

"There's still a long road ahead but we can only handle what we can handle at the moment. Onto the semis and we're massively excited."

Irish Independent

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