Friday 24 November 2017

It's unrealistic to think we can pull off Euro triumph - Conor Murray

Munster's Conor Murray. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Munster's Conor Murray. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

John Fallon

Conor Murray has conceded that it is not realistic for Munster to think about winning the Champions Cup this season.

The two-time former champions have failed to get out of their pool for the past two years, and Ireland scrum-half Murray says that expectations have been adjusted, although they are still aiming to make a splash in European competition under new coach Rassie Erasmus.

Munster are in a tough pool with Glasgow Warriors, Leicester Tigers and Racing 92 and Murray feels their sole focus will be on trying to get into the knockout stages.

"Every year we probably come in and go, 'We want to win Europe'. Realistically, looking at our performance over the last few years, that is not right," said Murray.

"So if we aim to get out of our group, and then we get out of the group, we will re-assess and as Rassie says we will build on that.

"We are not going to be falsely confident saying, 'Oh we want to win Europe'. Yes, it would be great and that obviously is the dream of every player here, but we got to take it step by step and be realistic with it."

Murray (27) played his first game of the season in last weekend's 20-16 win at Dragons, and wants to build on that against Edinburgh in Thomond Park tomorrow.


"I was itching to get back playing," he said. "It is a new environment, new coaching set-up so there will be a lot of learnings from our early games and it is about building on each performance."

Meanwhile, Connacht captain John Muldoon is hoping his side will finally get the defence of their Pro12 up and running this weekend, but to do so they will have to win at a ground which has been a graveyard for them over the years.

The Westerners head to Wales looking for their first points of the season against a Scarlets side who have lost all three matches.

Connacht, beaten at home in their opening two matches before having last weekend's tie at Zebre abandoned at half-time due to a storm when they were trailing 22-10, have lost all seven games they have played at Parc y Scarlets.

"Yeah, it's a big game, two teams trying to get their first win," said Muldoon. "Two teams that maybe haven't started the season the way we'd like to but we'll just have to work hard.

"We've had a few areas that we weren't too pleased with the first week. We've worked hard on them and they've got better - better again last week.

"There's one or two things that we need to tighten up on but we'll have learned from that."

Irish Independent

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