“These Are The Games We Love Playing In”
9th December 2017 By The Editor
Conor Murray looks ahead to tonight’s clash with old rivals Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park.
More often than not, the team that come out on the right side of the Champions Cup December double-header extend their European season beyond January.
This is the third year in a row that Munster and Leicester have faced off at this time of the year and two seasons ago, Leicester did the double over Munster and went on to the semi-final stage.
Last season the tables were turned as Munster recorded a bonus-point victory at Thomond Park and although they were beaten by a last-gasp penalty at Welford Road, Munster emerged with a 6-4 points advantage over the two games and also went on to reach the last four.
Conor Murray started all four of the games against Leicester in the last two years and starts tonight in another crucial encounter.
“I know them quite well,” said Murray. “They’ve a massive history, very similar to Munster in terms of their fans and their support, and the way they play. We are coming up against a team that are really similar to us, and have very similar ambition. These games around Christmas – the back-to-back European matches – are the games we love playing in. I think that’s when we thrive, in packed stadiums with a lot on the line. Leicester this year – especially with George Ford back, Jonny May, and Veainu, who is a real threat, are definitely a better team than last year – and they were a good side last year. We just happened to click at home against them in Thomond and got a really good win. The week after, they were hurting and came back. It will be a really intense two weeks. We are obviously focusing on this game first but this is a massive point in our season and dictates where we go from here.”
The game will be Johann van Graan’s first Champions Cup game and Murray is enjoying working with the new Head Coach.
“He certainly has his own ideas, and he is going to filter them in as he sees fit. I had a good chat with him after the South Africa game at the Aviva and he was really cognisant that what we have going on here is really good, and what we are doing is working for us, and he is going to continue that and build in some of his ideas.
“He has already started doing that in meetings, in chatting to him, he’s got ideas but he has got to time it appropriately to not disrupt the flow we have at the moment. So far so good. My interactions with him have all been really positive and the lads all seem pretty happy so a really good start.”
A very big crowd is expected to attend tonight’s game but there will be tickets available at the gate
Saturday, December 9
Munster v Leicester Tigers, Thomond Park, 7.45pm
Tickets start from €20 for Adults, and €10 for Juniors and are available to buy:
- from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park
- call 061 421103
- from the Ticket office in Thomond Park from 9am on match day.
The Munster team has been announced – full details.
Sam Arnold looks ahead to his first Munster Champions Cup game.