Tuesday 21 November 2017

Munster players had to be separated after heated training session following Cardiff defeat

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

The frustrations of last week's one-point home defeat to Cardiff were vented in a feisty Munster training session yesterday, and Rassie Erasmus hopes his squad will carry that passion into Saturday's clash with Dragons at Rodney Parade.

In a full contact session tempers became a little frayed at times and on one occasion a couple of players had to be separated by their team-mates as things got heated.

Erasmus was not too perturbed by events and welcomed an edge to his sessions as the team's collective suffering will have them in better shape at the weekend, he says.

"We all know that was a really disappointing performance the last day. Myself and the coaches, we did a few things not right during the game and leading up to the game maybe. That always makes a big contribution to the game.

"We were all frustrated after an away win (at Scarlets) and then adding a home loss. If we play that bad it's frustrating and you lose by one point and you are still in the games, it's frustrating. I think that's what showed a little bit today, but it was nothing too serious. I think that's competitiveness, but it's frustration too."

Injuries are the bane of every coach and Erasmus has a hefty stock of them, with centre Francis Saili ruled out for the rest of the year. The Kiwi underwent shoulder surgery for a second time in pre-season but his return date could be pushed out from the end of November to the new year.

This week Erasmus has to plan without the concussed Tommy O'Donnell, Rory Scannell (neck), Dave Foley (elbow), Simon Zebo (ribs), Stephen Archer (neck) and Robin Copeland (groin).

New signing Jaco Taute has started training with the team, but is not yet ready to play.

"What we miss with Frankie Saili is his explosiveness and people forget he is only 25 years old. He is a young guy," said Erasmus. "In Jaco you will get experience and that will add a lot. Obviously he is a good player too. He is a good fit for the problem we have and he will help us a lot."

Irish Independent

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