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Press Pass | Munster v Scarlets

27th February 2020 By The Editor

JJ Hanrahan enjoys a sneaky cuppa during Tuesday

JJ Hanrahan enjoys a sneaky cuppa during Tuesday's Press Conference. Inpho

Munster Defence Coach JP Ferreira, JJ Hanrahan and Fineen Wycherley spoke to the media this week ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 clash against Scarlets at Thomond Park (5pm).

Munster Defence Coach JP Ferreira, JJ Hanrahan and Fineen Wycherley spoke to the media this week ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 clash against Scarlets at Thomond Park (5pm).

See what the trio had to say below.

JP Ferreira – “We have got to be on our game at the weekend”

Academy players making an impact….

“Brilliant. Jake Flannery made it late on to the bench last weekend but it was good for him to be involved. John Hodnett and Jack O’Sullivan are going well. Keeping them going and boosting them is brilliant, boosting the Academy as well, showing the other guys coming through that there are opportunities. It keeps the pressure on.”

Preparing for Scarlets…

“Scarlets have unbelievable depth, even now with their internationals out at Six Nations. We know what’s coming. Brad [Moaar]’s done a really good job with them and they’ve got big threats throughout the team. We have got to be on our game at the weekend, like we were the last time we played them in Thomond Park. They are three points behind us, so this is massive for us. We have to obviously beat them at the weekend and then there will be a bit of space between us and Scarlets.”

On their biggest threats…

“They’ve got a good kicking game, that’s something that Brad brought in from the Crusaders. Good ball carriers, and then they’ve got some serious poach threats – that’s massive. With Tadhg [Beirne] leaving there, they now have Josh Macleod who can do the job as well. We had a big focus on the poach when we played at Thomond Park two years ago, when Tadhg was on the other side and we did really well. That focus remains.”

JJ Hanrahan – “You’ve got to focus on performance”

On building form…

“A run of games is great for all individuals if you can get it. You have to be ready for the opportunity. I’ve had a lot of time to work on various things throughout this year so when you get a run of games it’s always great. It is unfortunate for the lads that are injured obviously. You never want your opportunities to come via that route, because it’s a tough side of things. I’ve been there myself, when you are out long-term with an injury it’s not nice. So it is tough for the lads but I think they will come back stronger.”

Big game in Conference B…

“It is a big game, that’s for sure. They are three points behind us, Edinburgh are three points ahead of us. In terms of the table, it’s a big one. We know that. We’ve spoken about it as a group and what it means to our season. We are under no illusions as to what we need to get done but you have to go back to the fact that you cannot focus too much on outcomes, you’ve got to focus on performance.

“If we can take more of our second half performance against Zebre into the start of the game and for 80 minutes in this game – and we will need to play for 80 minutes because Scarlets are a high quality side – then we should be on the right side of victory, hopefully.”

Fineen Wycherley – “It’s massively important for guys from small towns in West Cork that they can get to wear the red jersey”

West Cork rugby…

“How things have changed at home; just how when I was younger, there were five or six people at training and now it has changed totally and there are 25 or 30.

“The likes of Sweets getting Irish caps, and stuff like that, really getting young fellas excited.

“Obviously, it’s coming through more and more, with John Hodnett getting his first Munster cap last week.

“It’s massively important for guys from small towns in West Cork that they can get to wear the red jersey, from places you’d think guys couldn’t do that.

“And down in Waterford, you have Jack O’Donoghue leading the way, and Thomas Ahern coming through, playing great rugby, and going on to play for Ireland.

“When the U10s and U12s see these fellas doing this, they become their idols and it’s massively important that their success feeds back into their clubs.

“Sweets is probably the one who has progressed most from West Cork. When we were growing up, we would have watched him and how he passed on from the hurling to the academy and he was the first from our locality to actually push on with Munster.”

On facing Scarlets…

“We know they are a quality Welsh side. With their internationals away it doesn’t really seem to affect them. They have massive depth in their squad and we know they will be a massive challenge in Thomond Park. We are really looking forward to it.”

Final 5 Home Games

Saturday, February 29

Munster v Scarlets, Thomond Park, 5pm; Buy tickets here

Friday, March 27

Munster v Benetton Rugby, Irish Independent Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Saturday, April 11

Munster v Cardiff Blues, Thomond Park, 3pm; Buy Early Bird tickets here (Early bird closes on March 2)

Saturday, April 25

Munster v Glasgow Warriors, Thomond Park, 5pm; Buy Early Bird tickets here (Early bird closes on March 2)

Weekend of May 29/30

Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park; Buy Early Bird tickets here (Early bird closes on March 2)

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