Tuesday 20 February 2018

Foley looking for 'boost' from fans

Munster head coach Anthony Foley
Munster head coach Anthony Foley

John Fallon

Munster will be bidding for their fifth win in a row over Cardiff Blues to kick off a 16-match run which will define their season.

Coach Anthony Foley said that they have divided the marathon run of games into blocks, with the four games in the Pro12 before they start their Champions Cup campaign the first of them.

Foley feels it is unprecedented for a side to face 16 games in a row but they are looking forward to the challenge of ten league games and six in Europe between now and the end of January.

"It's one thing we talked about among the leadership group last week about how we manage this so we're going to break it up into little blocks and try to manage those blocks over the period and set our goals accordingly," he said.

"We have a tough few games coming up in front of us now. We have Cardiff, then Scarlets, then Ulster and Edinburgh.

"Then we're into Europe so it doesn't get any easier from this point on after coming off Ospreys and Glasgow."

Munster's record against the Blues is good, doing the double over them in each of the last two seasons.

Munster won the corresponding game 33-16 last season, having scored a record-equalling 54-13 victory the previous year.

They won 28-24 in Cardiff last season, having beaten the hosts 31-10 there the year before that.

Cardiff's last win in the fixture came in January 2013 at Musgrave Park when Robin Copeland - now with Munster - scored the decisive try on a night when Ronan O'Gara made a record 234th appearance for the Reds.

Overall, Munster have won 16 of their 25 meetings, ten of them at home, where they have lost to Cardiff three times. In Cardiff, honours have been even with six wins apiece.

Foley said that it was important to start this sequence with a victory and maintain their winning start to the season.

"We're looking for a big boost on Saturday and hope we get that from the crowd. We want to pack out the stadium," he said.

"It's great that the kids go free and hopefully we can get the crowd in there and get them behind the team. Hopefully we give a performance to match that."



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