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Munster coach Declan Kidney
Lorrainne O'Sullivan/Inpho
Kidney Well Aware of Clermont Threat.
11 November 2007, 9:46 am
By Pat Geraghty
"They're an extremely competent side and one of the very best we've played I believe," said Declan Kidney at yesterday's media briefing in UL.
And when assessing the different challenge they face from last weekend to this one Kidney said, "Looking at both oppositions, Wasps presented one set of challenges in the way they defended so we had to be careful in the way we attacked them.

" Clermont appear to defend in a different way but you never know with a side with such an array of skill. "They might come up with something different on Sunday but that might open other opportunities for us to attack them.No ALT tag specified

" We felt Wasps were going to attack in a certain way and we think they did but Clermont have a double edged programme. They can be powerful up front through their set piece and their maul but can also be quite lethal by going wide and if they need to stretch you they can do.

And in terms of the the strengths of the side, Kidney says, "Its the the quality of the player they have right through, from one to twenty two. On top of that the way they play the game and then the coaching structure that's there. They're an extremely well prepared side they would be right up there with the top sides we've played in the competition. To score seven tries against Llanelli is quite a feat.

"They can attack you in the different places. They can attack straight off set piece, like off the lineout and go down the touchline. They have the strength to come around the corners at you and yet they have skill to go wide and retain the ball. Their wingers are like two extra forwards in their size but at the same time they play with three full backs. So any loose kicking has them counter attacking which they do very well.

" I don't want to be making them out as something they're not but they're an extremely competent side and one of the very best we've played I believe."

Nor does Kidney believe that the old assumption that French sides don't travel will be factor. "I don't think so. "They have too much experience. Just look at their hooking situation, an Argentinean and South African . An Argentine prop, some Georgian props. I think this particular group have a lot of experience of travelling so don't think that will faze them one bit.

"One o'clock on a Sunday in Thomond Park is always going to be a little different than 5 o'clock on a Saturday" concluded Kidney but when it was suggested that the atmosphere in Thomond Park might not be as good for a one o'clock kick off as for a five o'clock because supporters 'might not be able to prepare as they would normally', he responded, "Well I suppose they might come with one type of spirit for a Saturday, they might come with a different type of spirit for a Sunday.

"Heineken Cup games in Thomond Park are special days out. In golf terms, golfers like to play in majors . We like to play in Thomond Park."


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