Turning The Crowd Against Their Own
13th May 2011 By Munster Rugby
“We’ll be hoping to keep them (Munster fans) quiet from the start. They’ve a super fan base in Munster. They come out in their red and really get behind the team and act as a bit of a 16th man for them. But y’know it’s up to us to try silence the crowd and hopefully turn them on their own players.”
That's what master poacher Tommy Bowe is hoping for on Saturday when he pitches up to Thomond Park with his Ospreys as they set about retaining the trophy they won last year on foot of an impressive end of season run whose foundation was rooted in Irish soil.
“Yeh, it was a super couple of weeks for us. We beat Munster on the road, lost narrowly to Leinster at that time and got a bonus point against Ulster. So that was a great period for us. It continued on to the end of the season. So we'll hopefully find that sort of form again this weekend.”
Bowe accepts that their form of late hasn't been good as they just about scraped into Saturday's semi. “No, without a doubt we're delighted we made into the semi finals. Its been a bit of an up and down last few weeks for us but now that we've made it into the semi finals anything can happen.
“There's a huge opportunity for us. As I've said it's been an up and down season. Disappointing in certain aspects but I think nobody's going to question it if we get a win this week, get through to the final. Then its a massive opportunity for us to turn the season around.”
Nor does the prospect of travelling to Limerick particularly faze the Monaghan flyer. “Look Thomond Park is a very difficult place to go. Very few teams win there because of the side themselves and the great support they get there.
“But the win last season was a boost that'll give us the confidence going into the game this weekend.
“We've come up against each other a lot this season. In the Heineken Cup game there, we were in a good position I suppose about 65 minutes gone. Then coughed it up and that was disappointing. But we know now what we have to do to go over and hold out for the full 80.”
Bowe admits they cast an eye over the Amlin semi final. “Aye, we've watched a few bits n pieces from that game, Harlequins played some great stuff, As I've said it's a hard place to win, You really need to be firing. You need the bounce of the ball. You need luck on your side They (Harlequins) really took the game to them and we'll be hoping to take a leaf out of their book.”
And does he believe they can replicate the victory of 12 months ago and then retain the trophy ? “I definitely don't see why not. If we get off to a good start I definitely think we have the beating of Munster. Then we're into the final and anything can happen.
” We're the title holders. We're not going to give it up without a fight.” he warns.
Ospreys: R Fussel, T Bowe, A Bishop, J Hook, N Walker, D Biggar, R Webb, P James, H Bennett, A Jones, I Gough, A Wyn Jones (Capt.), R Jones, J Tipuric, J Thomas Replacements: R Hibbard, R Bevington, C Griffiths, J Collins, T Smith, M Holah, T Isaacs, A Beck.