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'Redemption must start with Sale' says Anthony Foley

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Munster's Paul O'Connell on the charge against Billy Vunipola of Saracens last weekend

Munster's Paul O'Connell on the charge against Billy Vunipola of Saracens last weekend

SPORTSFILE

Munster's Paul O'Connell on the charge against Billy Vunipola of Saracens last weekend

The last time Munster failed to make the quarter-finals of Europe's premier competition, they recovered and won the Celtic League, and coach Anthony Foley is looking for a similar response after last week's Champions Cup exit.

Foley stressed that the response needs to start on Sunday at Thomond Park against Sale Sharks and while neither side can qualify, the coach is looking for a reaction from his men after last week's disappointing loss away to Saracens in London.

The pool was not meant to end this way - Munster hoped Thomond Park would be packed to the rafters with a last-eight place in the inaugural Champions Cup either wrapped up or about to be secured on Sunday.

But Foley said they can do nothing now about what has taken place and their focus needs to be on what lies ahead for the remainder of this season and beyond.

"We want to make sure now that we go in on Sunday and leave a good account of ourselves as it is the last game for us in this competition and we want to leave it on a high note," he said.

"Sale will have the same philosophy coming over here, seeing us as an easy target maybe to go after, try and get a win over here, so we need to make sure we get that right this weekend and then we have four games during the Six Nations that are very much a big priority for us going forward.

"We have Cardiff, Ospreys, Scarlets and Glasgow which are a big cluster of games for us during that period that we need to start building towards as well."

Meanwhile, Munster will also look for a boost in the British & Irish Cup when Mick O'Driscoll's men travel to play Doncaster Knights tomorrow in the quarter-finals.

"I think we have done remarkably well to get to the quarter-final based on all the injuries we have had and all the issues we have had," said O'Driscoll.

"But saying that it is very good to see that we have some very good young lads coming through that hopefully if we are looking for positives from us not qualifying for the quarter finals of the Champions Cup - some of these guys will now get opportunities that maybe they mightn't have got if we'd been in the Champions Cup quarter final.

"They are a good side but we are hopeful of doing well."

Irish Independent