15 Apr 14
The Squad trained in UL today ahead of what is now a must-win interprovincial derby away to Connacht if Munster are to secure qualification for the knock-out stages of the RaboDirect PRO12.
"We've seen a couple of games they've played." Costello says "They've had an excellent start to the season. Their best start in recent years. They've won four of their first five games in the Championship and currently they're third."
"From what footage we've seen of them they're a very big strong physical side. Very direct but capable of moving the ball as well."
Outside of themselves, there may not have been much expectation of Munster in last year's competition but wins away in Belfast and Dublin left them with a Musgrave Park final and a chance that they took with some aplomb to claim the title. So now there's a big target on their back as defending champions.
But it's a target Costello is happy to carry. "It's a competition that for a few years we've been striving to win. And to win it last year and especially at home gave us a huge boost." he says.
"I suppose what it does is, it creates a bit of excitement around the start of the competition this season. There's certain pressure that comes with being champions You've got to set certain standards."
" And look," he continues," that's a challenge the lads will embrace. They'll set themselves high standard. They'll ask a lot of each other."
"And our focus, first and foremost will be to get a win this Saturday. We follow up with a home game in Tralee the following week which is pretty exciting as well."
"So we're just looking at these block of first two games."
Plymouth have the advantage of playing week in, week out but that doesn't really bother Costello.
"This year there's an added interprovincial competition that I think gives us much better quality matches thoroughout the season rather than the friendlies we had before this."
"We played Ulster and we played Connacht in two of those interpro games. Our most recent one was the game against Connacht, a game we lost and we were very disappointed with the result."
"But looking at the side we put out that day, it was very much a development side. Not taking away from Connacht, they were excellent on the day, but that selection probably won't resemble the side that will play this Saturday in the B & I Cup."
"We're confident going into this weekend that we'll be as organised and prepared as we need to be."
British and Irish Cup Round 1: Plymouth Albion v Munster A, Brickfields, Saturday 13th October, ko 3pm
Match Day Information from Plymouth Albion for Supporters:
Hospitality - 3 course Meal in the Kier Marquee for only £25.00 (excluding ticket) which starts at 12.30pm. Starter, main course, carvery lunch and cheese and biscuits. Anyone interested please contact email@example.com.
Food for sale at the match in the Rowes Honda Supporters Marquee - Curry £4.00, Stew £4.00, Beef and Pork Baps £4.00 and there will be a special promotion on Guinness on Saturday for only £3 per pint.