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PREVIEW: Foley eyes strong end to pool campaign

Tuesday 19th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Après avoir mis fin à la série noire face au Stade Français

Après avoir mis fin à la série noire face au Stade Français

Anthony Foley wants his Munster side to finish their European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 4 campaign on a high even if their hopes of a quarter-final place are slim.

The Irish province saw off Stade Francais with an impressive Thomond Park display at the weekend, bouncing back from a humbling loss in Paris against the French side.

The two-time European champions will round off the pool stage with a trip to Italy to face bottom side Treviso looking to build on that confidence boosting result.

The victory over Stade moved Munster within four points of the Top 14 champions and they can still finish second in the pool, although the chances of progressing as one of the best three runners-up would need an unlikely series of events to unfold.

But Foley expects his side to back up their improvement, and believes there are signs his squad will become a force in Europe as some of his younger player develop.

“We have learnt a lot in this competition, we had more experienced players in previous years and we have maybe lacked a little bit of big game temperament but we are getting there,” said the Munster head coach.

“Last season we lost the Pro 12 final and did not get out of our group in the Champions Cup. We have lost big games this season too and we have to make sure we learn from those lessons.

“We are our own harshest critics, we have a stable environment but we are building a new team and this group is growing. Some are having their first European experience which is hard because of the expectation but there needs to be a realism with it.

“Everyone turned up for one another against Stade and we know our supporters will always be right behind us. Now we want to try and finish things on a high.”

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REPORT: Munster finish with a flourish

Sunday 24th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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La campagne européenne de la province irlandaise ne restera pas dans les annales. Son dernier match à Trévise non plus. Elle y a remporté tout de même le troisième succès de saison (28-5). - 24/01/2016 15:14

La campagne européenne de la province irlandaise ne restera pas dans les annales. Son dernier match à Trévise non plus. Elle y a remporté tout de même le troisième succès de saison (28-5). - 24/01/2016 15:14

Munster ended their European Champions Cup campaign with a flourish with a bonus-point 28-5 triumph at Benetton Treviso.

Early tries from Ronan O’Mahony and David Kilcoyne looked to have seen-off the Italian challenge.
But buoyed by the strength of their pack, Treviso got back in it thanks to a drive-over try from Marco Lazzaroni. But Conor Murray strolled through to score in the second-half, before O’Mahony sealed the bonus-point and a comfortable win for Anthony Foley’s side, who were already out of the Champions Cup.

It took only five minutes for Munster to break the Treviso resolve. The Munster pack constructed a powerful drive and shunted the Italians back. Scrum-half Conor Murray darted off the back of a maul and found wing O’Mahony, who powered through the defensive line to break clear and score.

Keatley converted for an early 7-0 advantage, and the Irish province were able to build on their lead 12 minutes later.
A Simon Zebo break forced the winless Italians to illegally slow the ball down at a ruck, and referee Alexandre Ruiz awarded a penalty.

Murray took a quick tap and go from deep inside Treviso territory and found prop Kilcoyne, who barged over to score a second converted try. But the Treviso pack began to flex their muscles and they got their reward on 37 minutes.
Munster flanker Billy Holland went offside at a promising rolling maul, and was sent to the sin-bin. And the hosts made their man advantage count as they shunted the resulting lineout over the line for Lazzaroni to score.

Munster thought they had their third try three minutes into the second-half when CJ Stander was driven over the line. But the referee called it back as Keatley was lining up a conversion and ruled the Ireland squad member had knocked on.

However, Murray made sure they had their score after 50 minutes. The scrum-half sold Lazzaroni with a dummy and ghosted through to score following a lineout on the 22-metre line.

And the bonus-point finally came for Munster in the 66th minute thanks to a devastating break from replacement Jack O’Donoghue.

The centre cut through in his own half and raced downfield before feeding the wing, who crashed over at the corner to claim his try and the bonus-point.


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