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Munster Backs Coach Simon Mannix
Billy Stickland
Mannix Remains Positive
1 January 2013, 11:16 am
By The Editor
Although acutely aware of the paucity of last Saturday's performance, Backs Coach Simon Mannix, is confident that Munster can park it, learn, and deliver a performance in Murrayfield on Sunday.
"Undoubtedly, I think it would have to rank right up there (in terms of worst performances)." He said. "Very disappointing. And nothing near what we expect of ourselves. We're all passionate about what we're doing here, what we're attempting to do. The whole coaching staff, the playing staff.

"Saturday was one of those disappointing nights that we all get in our careers be it as a player or as a coach. These things happen. But it's a case of taking the lessons as quickly as possible, keeping a perspective on things and just trying to move forward as quickly as we can

" Very disappointing in that we played an awful lot of rugby, didn't get anything out of it. We weren't as accurate as we should be. We know that. It's been a difficult few days, as it always is after a loss.

"There are things that we addressed in the early part of this week. I'm not saying we've got all the answers. But I'd say the mood is very determined. I'd be very happy where we are today.

"There's a real resolve to put things right. Everyone's keenly aware of Munster history in the Heineken Cup and how important that is and guys have fronted up well. Because we know it's a big challenge in front of us."

And in terms of changing things around in a week ? "It going to come back a lot to attitude. The attitude we as coaches bring after a game like that. The attitude the players bring.

"There are things we can work on tactically, to sharpen up on. We know that. We have to concentrate an awful lot better on what we were doing. You can't give away as much ball as we did that night and let up on possible scoring opportunities and not finish them off."

In terms of tactics and much debate around Munster's style, a style that in fact hasn't altered that much, Mannix is a pragmatist. "Look, you can never get away from what's important in rugby and that's you've gotta do the job up front.

"We've gotta be physical and we've gotta respect those things about the game before everything else can open up. We've just got to get the balance right in what we're trying to do. There's been really good growth in this team right from the start. The players have embraced it but now we just gotta get a bit smarter in what we're doing."No ALT tag specified

"The kicking game is still a vital part of the rugby we're seen been played at the moment. When you're confronted with 14 guys coming up on a front line and only one in the back-field you've gotta identify that space. One way to take advantage is on the back of Ronan's kicking game which is world class But what we have to do then is use that position to put pressure on the opposition and we just let them off far too easy last Sat evening.

"Recognise the pictures that are in front of us and work out how we're going to break that down."

On Heineken Cup occasions, Munster used to playing in front of packed houses, a situation that will not pertain on Sunday when the 12.45 kick off is forecasted to produce a meagre attendance. "We know the stadium is not going to be full or anything like it. We're all aware of that. We know we're going to have a great field and Murrayfield is going to be in great order.

"We've just got to go out there and perform. It's about what goes on among the group in the changing room. That's the essential thing. And the players create that themselves. We're not playing the external factors of there being sixty thousand or if there's two thousand there. That's not going to matter. It's all about what happens among the group of 23 and what they take out there and what they create and what they deliver."

And in terms of what's required ? ""Everyone's got their theories. Everyone's making their own calculations. Talk of tries and bonus points is pretentious. We have to go and win the game and then have a look at it from there There's no point at all getting ahead of ourselves. We know it's going to be a very tough challenge But it's one we're really really looking forward to."

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