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Quinlan Puts It In Perspective

17th October 2008 By Munster Rugby

Quinlan Puts It In Perspective

Alan Quinlan refuses to spend too much time looking back at last week’s game against Mointauban, preferring instead to ficus on what he calls ‘the enormous task’ we face on Sunday in Sale.

“Look the fact of the matter is we got out of it with four points. We managed that after going behind to a very late penalty and I think we’ll take that as a plus rather than dwell too much on the negatives. Hopefully we’ll look at those negatives and learn not beat ourselves up over them. Of course, we got out of jail, if you want to use that expression. So too did Toulouse the following day against Bath. But we’ll take that. You keep going to end. Isn’t that what  they say good teams do ?”

Not that there weren’t lessons to be learned as Quinlan readily admits, ” Of course we’ve looked at the video. There were times when we needed to be more patient. Definitely times when we needed to be more precise and protect the ball better. If we had, there were opportunities there to score tries, ease the pressure on ourselves and the outcome could have been totally different.

“The question asked the past week was were we too complacent, did we not rate Montauban. I wonder was it people out there who were complacent and didn’t rate them because that certainly wasn’t the attitude in the squad. We knew they’d be tough and the longer the game went on and we didn’t get clear of them the more difficult they made it for us. I think people might give them credit for their performance. They’re a good side and other sides in this group will find that out.”

In relation to the trip to Sale, Quinlan has perhaps more reason to remember Munster’s last visit to Edgeley Park. “It was a disaster really, from the team’s point of view and my own personally.” Munster led 10-9 at the break and went further ahead when Ronan O’Gara kicked his second penalty of the night but then Quinlan was forced to retire injured. ” I twisted my knee in a tackle and at first thought, well hoped, it wasn’t too bad, but as it turned out, I didn’t play again for most of the rest of the season. Got back in time for the final which was great.”

Given what he remembers of his opponents that night and what he has seen of them so far how does he rate the English Premiership side. “Very highly, very highly indeed. They’re what, third in  the Premiership ? And you only have to look and see what they did in Clermont last time. That was a phenomenal performance. We’ve been there. We know how tough it is. We did well to get one point and they go over and take five ?  A great result for them and they’ll have their tales up.

“Their ground is tight and the crowd really get behind them. They have quality players right across the field, Rory Lamont at full back, Mark Cueto, McAllister in the centre or wherever they decide to play him  Dwayne Peel and the likes of Fernandez Lobbe, Andrew Sheridan and Chabal. Its a very impressive squad. They could afford to leave the likes of Charlie Hodgson and Jason White on the bench for the game in Clermont.

“So yes, I think it would be fair to say I’d have the highest regard for them. From our point of view, like we said going into the game last week, we must concentrate on our own game. On how we want to play. Maybe we didn’t do that last time. Or didn’t do it to a high enough degree. And yes we got away with it. It’s something we’ve spoken about and it something we can’t repeat.”




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