Saturday 24 February 2018

Penney's game plan to the fore in impressive opener

YoU couldn't ask for much more from an opening game than Munster produced last Saturday.

A bonus-point win was the perfect start, while their shape was good and they looked comfortable in everything they did.

They varied their game excellently and showed a much greater awareness of Rob Penney's game plan than last season. They used width when it was needed and were in control of the game throughout.

There will always, of course, be areas that they seek to improve and the concession of 23 points at home will not have gone unnoticed.

But it was a particularly encouraging start, and with two games in Italy and then a home clash with the Dragons later this month, the potential is there for a bright start to the campaign.

The back-to-back games in Italy over the next week are like chalk and cheese.

Zebre are a poor side and are struggling to be dynamic and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they did not survive. You would expect Munster to win with a bit to spare.

But Treviso could be a different proposition – as they have shown in the past.

The key is to get the win over Zebre and then worry about Treviso next week.

You would like to think that a solid foundation has been laid for a storming start to the campaign and it is important that this opportunity is availed of, especially as there will be tougher tests ahead.

Irish Independent

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