Sunday 17 December 2017

Glasgow have threats all over the field – it's a huge task to win there

Dave Kilcoyne in action for Munster
Dave Kilcoyne in action for Munster

Dave Kilcoyne - Player Diary

There has been plenty said in the last few days since our win over Gloucester, but the win was all we were after. Looking back at the game, we had opportunities to get more tries and possibly get the five points out of it, but really our sole focus was to get the win at Thomond Park. We got that, so that was pleasing.

We certainly could have been better. We could have been more clinical; we had a lot of chances to put more tries on the board at the end of the first half and beginning of the second half. We could have taken better options but we didn't, and that cost us the bonus point.

There is always room for improvement, but every Heineken Cup game from last weekend on is like a cup final for us. Our backs were against the wall for that one and we knew the win was vital. I was happy I got on the ball a bit and carried well. It was pleasing to see that the recent run of games has done me no harm and is standing to me now.

Last year I played in all the pre-season friendlies and all of the Pro12 games, so it was a bit different this year, trying to get used to the slow return. It is all new to me doing it this way, but I am happy now that I am getting back into it.


On Saturday, I didn't have a whole lot of work to do defensively which was disappointing, but that's just the way it worked out. I would have liked a higher tackle count, but sometimes they just don't come your way.

I didn't miss any tackles or anything, but I always like to get good numbers and get stuck in defensively. There was a lot of kicking in the game too, which didn't help.

Our Heineken Cup pool is wide open now with everyone having one win in the bag, so we'll park that for a few weeks. Now all the focus turns to Glasgow and tonight's top-of-the-table clash. It's a huge task going over there to try and get a win.

It's strange, but our last couple of trips to Scotland haven't been too positive at all. Our heavy loss to Glasgow last season is still fresh in the minds with all the intercept tries and our poor display. That day was memorable for me in another way as I got my first Munster try. That's something I'll never forget.

Going into tonight's clash, both sides are coming off a couple of really tough Heineken Cup rounds, so it will be interesting to see how everyone bounces back from them. They had a great win against Exeter at the weekend and we had a quick look at that earlier in the week.

They seem to be sticking to their expansive running game, and why wouldn't they? They are very good at it. They have threats all over the field but it's up to us to put in a huge performance to quieten them.

It is down to consistency for us really. We want to back up the Gloucester win with another this evening, which will put us in a great position with the Ospreys coming to Thomond next week.

But we also want to put our Edinburgh defeat right as well. It just goes to show you what can happen if your head isn't in the right place in this game. They were far more intense and more clinical than us and we won't let that happen again.

With this week being a six-day turnaround it proved to be pretty hectic after the excitement of the Heineken Cup. On Monday all the Cork-based lads travelled up to Limerick, which is unusual. Normally we meet halfway for a review or do weights in our centres, but with a six-day turnaround, we had a review and preview in Limerick.

Losing that extra day means everything has to be compressed into the time available. We always take it easy the day before the game, with just the captain's run, but the rest of the week is pretty busy.

After Monday being so busy, our weights session was moved to Tuesday and I did a double lift session there to make up for lost time. On Wednesday we were in CIT for a team pitch session and we over-nighted in Cork and flew out from there yesterday.

Personally I really look forward to the weights work. I like to get in as much as I can in the week before a game. The strength and conditioning staff are always trying to get you to keep up with that work, but the coaching staff like to have as much time as possible on the pitch. There is always a bit of tug of war going on, but at this stage it's pretty well balanced for our personal plans.

I find it really helps me going into a game if I have a good base of weights work done that week. People have differing opinions on it; the backs would probably prefer an extra skills session, but I'd always prefer to do a few extra weights.

It was funny to see Johne Murphy getting all the plaudits after his try at the weekend. Rightly there was plenty of praise for him, he's been in great form all season, but there proved to be little sympathy shown to him in the camp after the game.

Unfortunately the fining committee had to be called into action as Johne was heading off to a wedding and he was dolled up in a fancy three-piece suit that didn't match the team's official suits.

Damien Varley and Mike Sherry run a tight ship on the committee, and Johne thought that pleading his case to Niall O'Donovan would help. But the committee's decision was final and the dictators had their way.

Hopefully Johne will leave the 'Saturday Night Fever' shirt behind him the next day.

Irish Independent

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