Tuesday 20 March 2018

No shortage of motivation, insists Foley, as Munster cling to slim hope

Anthony Foley insists his side remained motivated after recent setbacks Photo:Sportsfile
Anthony Foley insists his side remained motivated after recent setbacks Photo:Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Where there is hope, there is belief and although it may be slimmest type, Munster will travel to Italy to take on Treviso tomorrow still, mathematically, in with a chance of sneaking into the quarter-finals.

For that to happen, they would need a host of upsets to go in their favour but come tomorrow morning, they will at least have a clearer idea of what is required if it is to happen.

There has been a renewed sense of belief down south this week with Anthony Foley even admitting that he is sleeping easier at night and as his side look to build on last week's bonus-point win over Stade Francais, there is at least some cause for optimism amid the apparent 'crisis'.

"It's not that difficult (to motivate players) at all, because the boys are training well," Foley enthused.

"They see light at the end of the tunnel. They want to get another big performance in.

"They know going to Italy is going to be tough because Treviso are packed with internationals and are waiting to take another scalp in Round 6, which they have done in the past.

"We are very aware of that, and we are very aware of their potential. With the changing of the coaching staff they have gone back to a more physical game-plan.

"They have that ability because they are stacked with internationals. We have to be very conscious that we go there, and it's not about turning up it's about going and performing to the best level that we can because it is going to be required."

Foley has understandably kept changes to a minimum with Donnacha Ryan and John Ryan both coming back into the starting XV.

The latter Ryan yesterday signed a new three-year deal while Andrew Conway (who again misses out through injury) has extended his stay by two years.

Munster struggled to a bonus-point win over Treviso in the opening pool game and Foley is expecting an even tougher test away from home.

"They're completely different (at home), they love playing in front of their fans. They will test us in a lot of areas but hopefully we will test them as well, and hopefully we will come out on top."

Nothing less than a bonus point win will suffice if Munster are to have any hope of making the seemingly impossible, possible.

Verdict: Munster

Benetton Treviso - J Hayward; A Pratichetti, E Bacchin, A Sgarbi, S Ragusi; J Ambrosini, A Lucchese; M Zanusso, O Gega, S Ferrari; M Fuser, J-F Montauriol; M Lazzaroni, A Zanni (capt), AJ Steyn. Reps: D Giazzon, A De Marchi, S Manu, T Palmer, M Barbini, T Iannone, S Christie, L McLean.

Munster - S Zebo; K Earls, F Saili, R Scannell, R O'Mahony; I Keatley, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, J Ryan; D Foley, D Ryan, B Holland, T O'Donnell, CJ Stander (capt). Reps: N Scannell, J Cronin, M Sagario, R Copeland, M Chisholm, J O'Donoghue, T O'Leary, G van den Heever.

REF - A Ruiz (France)

Benetton Treviso v Munster, Live, BT Sport, 1.0 tomorrow

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