Focus on the Win
13th December 2005 By Munster Rugby
Focus on trying to win the game first,that’s will be the Munster policy on Saturday against what they expect will be a changed annd fired-up Newport-Gwent Dragons side.
Looking ahead to the return game against Newport-Gwent Dragons on Saturday, Munster will once again concentrate their efforts on securing victory in light of past records that show only a 50% success rate in these back-to-back games. Coach Declan Kidney expects the Dragons to show one or two changes from the side they play last weekend with Kevin Morgan and Hal Luscombe likely to be back in the side and the Munster coach said it would be “totally disrespectful to be talking of bonus points at this stage.”
“Dragons on Saturday is such a huge challenge for us. All that we’re thinking about is trying to see if we can win the game. I would have huge respect for Dragons and the other two teams in our group and the important thing to do is try and win games first. Now that’s not to say that should the opportunity arise we won’t go for it but as I said the challenge is to win first. And we will certainly take nothing for granted.”
Kidney contuinued, “Back-to-backs are notoriously difficult. A few years ago we went away and beat Castres and the following week after a few minutes they were seven points up. So that’s where they are difficult. It s really all about respecting the opposition and respecting yourselves going into it. It is a new venue, new weather conditions, it ll be a new referee, I think they ll have changes And even if you change one or two players in a team that can change the whole chemistry of a team.”
The bonus point issue was dealt with by Munster captain Anthony Foley when he said.”
Against Ulster with four minutes to go we had an opportunity to kick for goal. We decided we were going for the win. It was as simple as that. We try to back ourselves with those calls and it nearly came off.
“Last weekend we got our second try and obviously our thoughts would be, ok if we can get a third try then all bets are on to try get the fourth. In fairness to Dragons for the next ten minutes we struggled to get the ball back off them. We didn’t see the ball.
“So it became very hard to get that third try. Saying that you’re talking about if, buts and maybes.
“If the balll had bounced right for Mossy he might have got in. If Macus’s pass, to Micko, had gone to hand – around the back, a Harlem Globetrotters pass – then,maybe. But we didn’t really have any other clearcut opportunities to get tries other than that. So people talking about bonus points last weekend, they’re getting way ahead of themselves.
“On Saturday it’s going to be even tougher. Both sides know each other well. They will up the ante no question about that. I hope the crowd will treat the game as any other Heineken Cup game. Not come in with any pre-conceptions. Come in roar the house down, put the atmosphere right up there. I would hope the crowd give Dragons respect but we want a hostile environment out there. Thats the way we like it.”