Malone urges 'A' team to seize their moment
Munster 'A' head coach Peter Malone is hoping that his side can take a huge step towards the knockout stages of the B&I Cup with victory over Plymouth Albion at Brickfields tonight (7.45).
With a crucial away win at Nottingham already secured and a dominant home victory over Stirling County behind them, Munster 'A' are in good shape in Pool 4, level on points with tonight's opponents. A win of any variety will put them in control of the group.
However, Malone was disappointed to see the recent inter-provincial warm-up called off, which would have given many of his side a much needed run-out ahead of tonight's match.
"I'm happy with our results but I am a bit disappointed that we had two fixtures cancelled, especially the one against Leinster, which would have kept the whole thing ticking over," he said.
"There are guys coming back in, guys who haven't played much with the seniors and guys who can't get a run. It puts us at a slight disadvantage for the weekend.
"It has put a bit of a dampener on the season, but with regards performance I am very happy. I think we are in a very good place."
And Malone is very familiar with some of the Plymouth side, having played with one of their scrum-halves and guided another through the Munster academy.
"They have two Irish lads, Paul Earley and Rory Cushion. Paul came out of the Munster Academy a few years ago. He's a nice, nippy scrum-half with a good left boot.
"I played with Rory on an Irish Clubs team five or six years ago. He's an ex-Belvo scrum-half. He is a good solid distributor.
"Plymouth have a big powerful back-row, which is their main strength. We have to be sharp in defence and not give them easy yards. They are a big physical, ball-carrying back-row,"
Albion's English Championship form has been far from impressive with just three wins earned from their 10 games. But the B&I Cup has brought out the best in them.
"This week is a massive week for us in the Heineken Cup. The seniors pick their team and when they are done then we select. We just work around it. It's always a challenge," said Malone.
"But we are happy enough and we'll work with what we have got. We are happy that we are in good nick for Friday night.
"Guys can get very stagnant waiting for a break, thinking they will never get a chance and then suddenly an opportunity presents itself. It's then up to the player that gets it – they have to be prepared to take it."