Sunday 17 December 2017

Oliver excited by defensive efforts

Conor Oliver Photo: Inpho/Billy Stickland
Conor Oliver Photo: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Declan Rooney

Rising star Conor Oliver has warned that Munster's defence will have to be on the money again when they welcome Ulster to Thomond Park tomorrow afternoon (3.00).

Oliver was man of the match as Munster battled to hold on to a three-point lead late on against Glasgow Warriors in Irish Independent Park last weekend, and after a stellar team showing, he paid tribute to the work that defence coach Jacques Nienaber has been putting in since his arrival.

"Our defence won us the game (against Glasgow). I know it was low scoring and we lost a few balls here and there, but the defensive performance really helped us," said 21-year-old Oliver.

"It is a massive part of our game, it's winning us a lot of games and keeping teams scoreless. With the line-speed and everything, everyone is buying into the defence and what we are trying to work on.

"Jacques Nienaber is amazing and he really puts an emphasis on that hard 'D'. So far this season it has worked well for us."

Oliver has had a real breakthrough campaign.

The flanker has scored three tries from his three starts and 12 appearances overall, and with another year in the academy to go, progress has been impressive for the Skerries native.

Evident

That team defensive effort was evident when Munster edged past Ulster at Ravenhill in October, but against a team that has accumulated 239 points in a seven-game unbeaten run, Oliver knows they need to be on form again.

"Glasgow are a great team, with nearly the whole Scottish international team there. It was a great test for us especially with us now facing into a massive Guinness Pro12 game against Ulster," he said.

Irish Independent

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