Monday 20 November 2017

We're going in with our eyes wide open - Penney

Reds supremo insists there can be no excuses if charges fail to front up

Rob Penney abd Conor Murray
Rob Penney abd Conor Murray

John Fallon

Munster look right on course to secure a quarter-final place in the Heineken Cup, but coach Rob Penney has warned them to take nothing for granted in their final two pool games.

The Reds have managed to turn around their European Cup drive following that shock opening-day loss in Edinburgh and are now firmly in the driving seat to again reach the last eight.

They got a double break in the last round, hitting back after Perpignan's late try to score the winner through JJ Hanrahan in the final play of the day.

And then, less than 24 hours later, they got another boost when Edinburgh surprised Gloucester at Kingsholm to cement Munster's hopes of topping the pool.

But Penney has warned there could yet be some twists and turns and he expects Gloucester to hit the Reds with everything they have, stung by the heavy criticism they have endured following their weekend 29-8 loss to Saracens in their own back yard at Kingsholm.

"One of the things that Gloucester suffered over the last few weeks, particularly after the Saracens game at the weekend, was criticism not only from their own supporters and media, but also from ex-players and I don't think anything cuts a player worse than an ex-player criticising you," said Penney.

The Munster coach expects a response from Gloucester -- he knows that for the English club, taking the scalp of the twice winners of the Heineken Cup would go a long way towards appeasing the supporters.

"That has just added a layer of depth and passion to their performance at the weekend which we could probably have done without," he said.

"They have got the ability to rip you up from broken play, they have got speed, pace and agility and inter-play skills that are very dangerous, so you couple those things together and we are going to have to be very wary.

"But at least we are going in with our eyes wide open, we can't be ambushed and if we don't front up, it will not be because the players weren't forewarned."

Hundreds of Munster supporters are expected to make the trip to the west country for the game, with a big contingent of UK-based Reds fans also expected to turn out in force to support Penney's men.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport