Thursday 22 February 2018

Reds set sights on silverware

Hurley confident Penney's 'remoulded' side can kick on from last season and challenge for honours

John Fallon

Experienced back Denis Hurley is confident Munster are now ready to bid for honours having embraced the new style of play introduced by Rob Penney when he took over a year ago.

The 29-year-old believes that Munster are poised to seriously challenge for silverware this season after changing their game.

"One of the things Rob said last season was he had to break the mould to remould, and that was quite important," Hurley said.

"We had been working away on a completely different style of play, but he said we needed to be able to break that mould fully and be able to come back to more Munster-type rugby, with that bit of expansive rugby which gives the wider backs or the most threatening players the space, time and ball to be able to attack teams."

Hurley said that the transition was not without some difficulty but he believes that Munster are set to benefit from it in this campaign.

"The coaching staff have taken a lot on the chin and Rob himself said his goal at the start of the season was to change the brand of rugby we were playing more so than looking for finals," he said.

"I think this season now is more of a season where we can say we're looking for silverware. It really is a good goal for us and an achievable goal."

Hurley said that the retirements of Ronan O'Gara and Doug Howlett have left a big void but he feels the game has changed a lot and that everyone in the match-day squad has a key role to play.

"The game type has changed and I think it offers players opportunities to fill that role," he said.

"You go back to when Rog first started and it was nearly 10-man rugby and now we're playing 15-man – indeed, it's the full squad actually now.

"You really are looking to the bench to make an impact in the second half of matches and that's a great position to be in."

Irish Independent

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