Erasmus Excited For First Thomond Park Outing
21st September 2016 By Munster Rugby
“It will definitely be an experience.” Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus looks forward to what will be his first game in charge at Thomond Park this coming Saturday as Munster face Edinburgh in Round 4 of the Guinness PRO12 at 3pm.
Starting out the new season with an impressive away win over Scarlets (the first since 2011), the defence which had been so impenetrable in Llanelli fell well short of the mark a week later in what was Erasmus’ first competitive home game, losing 23-24 to Cardiff Blues at Irish Independent Park.
This weekend in Thomond Park, the South African and his men in red have the chance to right the wrongs of the Round 2 outing in Cork with Erasmus keen to stress the importance of winning on home soil and in front of one’s home supporters.
“To win the two away games but then lose momentum by being beaten at home was not ideal. I always feel winning away gives great confidence, but on the flip side, losing at home takes confidence away. It really takes guts and hard work and accuracy to win that back, and it takes longer to win it back than lose it. But it shouldn’t be the thing that drives us. It’s our plan on the field that drives us.
“Our first home game was two weeks ago, but this is the first one at Thomond Park, so hopefully this one will go much better. It will definitely be an experience. I’ve seen a lot on TV, but never experienced it myself. Our job is to earn the right to have that experience, and we didn’t do it in our first home game. Obviously it was in a different venue, and we have to earn that, and the players know that.”
In earning the right to experience the vocal Thomond Park atmosphere, Munster will look to give the crowd plenty to cheer about as they line out in Limerick for the first time this season. A somewhat nervy return to winning ways in Dragons last weekend may carry momentum into Saturday’s clash, but Erasmus is well aware of the need for greater consistency and composure this time out, especially with Edinburgh coming to town.
“We’ve got a tough challenge and it will be certainly one to test us, to show the people that we earn the atmosphere and that support they give us. I’m really looking forward to it, it’s going to be a privilege.
“They have got some great ways of playing the game, but first and foremost they don’t shy away from the physical side of the game. That’s a real hallmark of an Alan Solomon side and it will be one of our biggest challenges, to rise up physically for the occasion.”
Further reflecting on the win over Dragons, Erasmus added, “They (Dragons) did really well but we were having the more dominant game up until the intercept try. From there they got hope and played some excellent rugby. After half time, four or five unforced errors in a row set the tone for us. An underlying issue for us was losing a few guys prior to the game and then a couple more in the game. That’s not to say the other guys didn’t play well, but it was disruptive to have to move wingers to centre and fly haves to full back. Those kind of things take their toll.
“Without a doubt I was nervous towards the end of the game. Dragons actually deserved a try. They were just a metre away and had the player not broken off the maul they could well have scored the try – we were lucky.”
Munster v Edinburgh, Guinness PRO12 Round 4, Saturday September 24th at Thomond Park – KO 3pm.
Adult tickets from €;20 and Family tickets from €;40 (2 adults & 2 juniors) can be purchased online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 0818 719 300.
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