11 Mar 14
The Munster squad trained at a sunny CIT today after a week's break as preparations begin for the RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Treviso at Thomond Park on Saturday, March 22nd (ko 7:15pm).
Whatever about Leinster's mindset, Forwards Coach-elect Anthony Foley summed up Munster's in an article today with Gerry Thornley (Irish Times) when he said, "let's put it this way, there's nobody here talking about Brive next week."
And while Leinster supporters conjure up the 'Six In The Sticks' and such-like cliches in rightful recognition of their recent record against Munster, David Wallace confirmed at yesterday's media briefing in UL that neither he nor his Munster colleagues weren't really subjected to too much ribbing about that little statistic while they were in Ireland camp.
Wallace, when asked by Newstalk's Dave McIntyre, if the Leinster lads brought up that particular thorny theme said, "Actually, no, not at all. They were probably too wary of giving us anything to zero in on."
And talk to Donncha O'Callaghan and he'll talk about Magners points rather than point to history. "Look, ye can't run away from it. They've beaten us the last five games. Does that bother us? Course it does."
"But the game tomorrow is all about just that. It's about getting the points because we want a home semi-final and after this one (Leinster) we have two games in Wales and then the game against Connacht."
"So even though today we have a healthy lead, if we don't win tomorrow, all of a sudden that lead is chopped. Three tough games to come, two on the road, and all the hard work of the past few weeks that the lads did while we were away is compromised. We don't want that."
As for the game itself, O'Callaghan doesn't shy away from the difficulty Munster face, "They're a good side right across the pitch. They have been for a good period now. We haven't beaten them in a while but there's been very little in it in the last three games. One try scored in each of those games and they scored them and basically that's been the difference in the end."
"And it'll be that close again tomorrow," he predicts, but refuses to get into what if they go 6 zip.
"Ask me that question tomorrow night." he pleads, "if you have to."
Leinster: Isa Nacewa; Shane Horgan, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross; Leo Cullen capt, Nathan Hines; Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Heinke van der Merwe, Stan Wright, Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden