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Hurting Munster hope to bounce back against Cardiff Blues

By Aidan Corr
THERE were no excuses, but Munster were still hurting following their defeat by Glasgow Warriors when they faced the media at UL yesterday afternoon. After watching the video of Friday night’s game, the analysis and the comments of the coaching staff had been difficult for the players but now it was time to move on and focus on next Saturday’s next PRO14 game against Cardiff Blues, at Thomond Park, 1.30.
Head coach Rassie Erasmus described his side’s performance as the ‘most disappointing he has seen from a Munster team in 40 fixtures.’ That probably describes the general reaction and, according to one of the players, Rassie ‘had a lot to say about it alright. He didn’t hold back,’ which was putting it mildly.
Cardiff took a Munster scalp last season and after their win last Saturday in Galway, they will be up for it in Limerick. Munster signed Mark Flanagan, a second row, on a short-term contract for second-row cover and he could feature on Saturday. He has had a spell in France and with Leinster. Jean Klein picked up another neck strain in Scotstoun and Sean O’Connor is also nursing an injury. Good news is that the Lions and internationals are back, so we can expect Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Keith Earls, Simon Zebo and a few more who have been kept under wraps, to run out in Thomond Park for this PRO14 game.
“It will be great to have the internationals back,” said Rassie. “We had to take chances for our first four games but on the other hand younger players have to learn playing under pressure. We gambled a bit and it did not come off. Our place-kicking was poor and now we have to fix it for the Cardiff game. We only find out answers by using certain combinations.
“This week-end we have most of the boys available, JJ (Hanrahan) had a run with his club last week-end and we could have four or five internationals involved. The next three games are big ones, Cardiff, Leinster away and the opening round of the European Champions Cup.”
Munster don’t lose many games in any season but when they do, the next opposition they face often pays the price.

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