Thursday 22 March 2018

We have something up our sleeve - Foley

Munster head coach Anthony Foley. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster head coach Anthony Foley. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Head coach Anthony Foley says Munster will have something ready to surprise Leinster when they face off tomorrow at the Aviva Stadium.

The sides are well familiar with each other after some epic battles over the years - the last four games have produced two wins each - and Foley says they are keen to find a competitive edge over their rivals.

"It's difficult, but you always have something up your sleeve," said Foley.

"It's about possession, it's about using the ball and making your ball faster than their ball and playing on the front-foot.

"They'll be trying to slow down our ball and we'll do the same to theirs.

"If we can manage both sides of that and come out on top, you have a chance to win the game."

With Rassie Erasmus now the main shot caller in the province, Foley has played a far bigger role on the training field this season.

And he thinks the good recent results have reflected the fact that they are getting some real experienced players like Peter O'Mahony back in the team.

"Look, we're getting players back. We lost a couple of big players around this time last year and definitely around our leadership side of things," said Foley.

"What has changed this year is that when that void had be filled from within, a lot of those guys are still here now and playing well."

In the corresponding fixture at the Aviva Stadium last year, Johnny Holland was Munster's stand-out player, but they eventuality fell to a three-point defeat.

But Munster took a 34-23 win the previous year from Dublin and Foley says planting that seed of doubt is crucial.

"It's about making sure that they feel the pressure of the Aviva in a local derby," said Foley.

"I think not alone are our players looking forward to it, but the opposition is looking forward to it."

Racing 92 still without away victory

Racing 92's form has continued to nosedive ahead of next weekend's Champions Cup clash against Munster in Paris with a fourth consecutive away defeat for the Top 14 champions.

In the end Racing lost out by 25-16 away to Brive, but they had gotten off to a great start when dangerman Juan Imhoff crossed for a try and Irish scrum-half James Hart converted.

Hart added another two penalties in the third quarter for Racing, but they were made to pay for the sin-binning of Virgile Lacombe 15 minutes from the break, during which time the hosts ran in a crucial try.

But tomorrow Racing will be given some great preparation for the arrival of Rassie Erasmus' side when they take on their near neighbours Stade Francais in the Parisian derby.

Elsewhere, Leicester Tigers were also unable to win on their travels as AJ MacGinty's Sale Sharks edged a 34-30 classic. Two tries in the early minutes from Tigers' Peter Betham looked to have given them a solid footing, but despite three conversions and three penalties from Owen Williams, they fell to a narrow loss.

At home to Donncha O'Callaghan's Worcester Warriors tomorrow, Tigers will hope to close the nine-point gap to the headers Wasps.

And in the Pro12, Glasgow had tries from All Black Corey Flynn and Alex Allan to thank for their win at Dragons. Tomorrow they travel to face Zebre, who have caused a lot of trouble to teams in Parma this season.

Irish Independent

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