Thursday 22 August 2019

'Something special may be happening' - Rassie Erasmus hails Munster after Leicester stroll

Simon Zebo of Munster on the way to scoring his side's first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 3 match between Munster and Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Simon Zebo of Munster on the way to scoring his side's first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 3 match between Munster and Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

MUNSTER coach Rassie Erasmus admitted his side were nervous before their 38-0 Champions Cup hiding of a team that did the double over them in Europe last season.

However, he warned supporters not to be fooled by the nature of the win as he expects a back-lash from the wounded Tigers next week.

“We were nervous after what happened last year and never thought about getting five points, we only wanted the win.

“We were really happy with the performance but we won’t get carried away because we know we have to return there next week.

“We won’t be fooled so early in the competition, we have only won two matches. But we’ll enjoy tonight and we’ll be fairly happy with the intensity and commitment.

“We will look at the display without emotion. The scoreboard can mask some things.

“Something special may be happening but this is basically the same team as last season. It might not happen this season, it could take three years but we are definitely going in the right direction.

“A lot of things are going well, I am proud. Things can change quickly, look at Glasgow winning in Paris today.

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“There is a difference between expectations and enjoying the fact you can bring pride to supporters. Sometimes we will lose games. Expectations are a monster in the closet for us.”

Rasmus also said he would be open to retaining two-try heroJaco Taute but only if the IRFU assent to his retention as Munster already have a non-Irish qualified player in midfield, Francis Saili.

“We don’t want a guy here if he blocks younger players like Rory Scannell or Sam Arnold. Francis Saili is due to come back and if Taute can help the younger players, perhaps I can think about that.

“But I have to to put the Irish system first. I am thinking about it but I have to make sure it makes sense, you have to talk to other decision-makers and see if they agree with your plan.”

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony hailed a special day in Thomond Park

“Europe is very important to us and we have a history of making Thomond special and you want to honour the crowd for cheering us on so it was nice to put in a good performance.

“We analysed them well during the week, we know their quality and we will have a tough game next week.

“It was a mature performance from a young group and when we got momentum we stayed on it.

“Tyler Bleyendaal is playing well and the kick accuracy was quite good today which is god for the forwards and the defence deserves credit for keeping it to nil.

“But it is half-time now and we need to assess. Our discipline was poor, we turned over a few balls and the lineout may need work.

“We kept the scoreboard ticking over, 3-6-9. In this competition it is important and it showed the respect we have for Leicester.

“I feel like I’m building game by game and session by session, it’s nice to get another 80 minutes but I’m away from being where I want to be.”

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