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Best Possible Response

12th September 2011 By Munster Rugby

Best Possible Response

The RaboDirect PRO12 game against Scarlets in Musgrave Park next Saturday (7.45pm) serves as a reminder of what has to be the most positive of responses to defeat.

Back in March 2007, Munster fetched up at Stradey Park as Heineken Cup title holders for the quarter final to be beaten every bit as emphatically as the 24-15 final scoreline suggests.

And those who claim that you learn much, if not more about yourself in defeat than in victory will be chuffed to hear that since then Munster have won their subsequent eleven encounters with the Welsh side including back-to-back win in the Heineken the 07/08 season on their way to be crowned champions again.

Munster looked out of it at half-time that March night in Stradey as they trailed seventeen points to zip. And if they won the second half 15-7, naturally it was of no consolation, the Scarlets thru to a semi final against Leicester Tigers.

Interestingly, of the 22 players on duty that night, only five – Lifeimi Mafi, Peter Stringer, Marcus Horan, John Hayes and Mick O'Driscoll – were included in the extended squad named today after training in CIT.

Five more – Ronan O'Gara, Jerry Flannery, Donncha O'Callaghan, Denis Leamy and Donnacha Ryan – are in Auckland this afternoon preparing for the RWC game against Australia and nine players on duty that night – Christian Cullen, John Kelly, Barry Murphy, Trevor Halstead, Ian Dowling, Alan Quinlan, Frankie Sheahan, Federico Pucciariello and Anthony Foley – have retired from a profession they served so well.

Between them, Mafi, Horan, Hayes, O'Driscoll and Stringer, have amassed over 900 competitive caps. If Peter Stringer gets game time on Saturday it will mark the 220th time he has pulled on the Munster jersey.

Munster Squad (v Scarlets, Musgrave Park, Saturday, 17th September, 7.45pm).

Munster: J Murphy, D Hurley, S Deasy D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, T Gleeson, S Zebo, I Keatley, D Williams, P Stringer; W du Preez, D Fogarty, M Sherry, D Varley, BJ Botha,  J Hayes, M Horan, S Archer, D Foley,  B Holland, M O'Driscoll, T O'Donnell, P O'Mahony,  N Ronan, J Coughlan.


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