Thursday 21 February 2019

'He wants to make this a better team' - Munster coach van Graan hails Carbery after tough Exeter clash

19 January 2019; Joey Carbery of Munster in action against Joe Simmonds of Exeter Chiefs during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2 Round 6 match between Munster and Exeter Chiefs at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
19 January 2019; Joey Carbery of Munster in action against Joe Simmonds of Exeter Chiefs during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2 Round 6 match between Munster and Exeter Chiefs at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Munster coach Johann van Graan hailed match-winning hero Joey Carbery, whose 20/20 vision maintained his remarkable kicking success since the lowest point of his brief career in Castres last December.

The former Leinster man nervelessly slotted home a difficult kick under immense pressure with just seven minutes left to secure Munster's record 18th quarter-final appearance in the Champions Cup, extending his sequence to 20 successful kicks since missing three in the defeat in Castres.

"The very first day I met him I asked him why do you want to come to Munster," said van Gran after the 9-7 win against Exeter.

"He said he wants to make a difference, and make this a a better team. And with every action on and off the field he has done that.

"Since Castres, to kick 20 from 20 is incredible, pure class. To want to still learn is brilliant for someone so young.

"He is a special man and a special player because there is a lot of expectation on him."

Carbery was keen to point it that Munster still have work to do after a fitful display despite the gritty win.

"We have won nothing yet," he said. "I am doing my job and hopefully the players will be benefit and they help me too. Hopefully we can keep improving."

Man of the match Tadhg Beirne faces a scan this week on a knee problem after hyper-extending it in the second-half.

"Tadhg is a special player and he is very dynamic and one of the few guys who can poach like he can,” said van Graan. “He will have a scan on the knee and hopefully it is not serious.

"It won't go down as the prettiest game but we adapted our plan at half-time and we kept our composure in the second-half.

"Everyone in the 23 gave their all. Respect to the Chiefs who gave it all until the last play of the game.

"It wasn't so much the errors but the pressure. We had to adapt our kicking game in the second-half, and Andrew Conway made a couple of decisive kicks. Billy Holland made a huge steal.

"We had a will to win tonight.

"We will wake up with a quarter-final and that is the main thing we will see when we wake up tomorrow and the quarter-finals will take care of itself."

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport