Penney’s focus firmly on Warriors
Munster coach Rob Penney is very hopeful that Casey Laulala (left) will have recovered from his hand injury in time for the Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon in Marseille on April 27th. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Getty Images)
It is a measure of how quickly things must move in the professional game that by Sunday afternoon Rob Penney was more wrapped up in preparing for this weekend’s game against Glasgow Warriors than focusing on their Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon in Marseille.
The Munster coach quickly put the euphoria of Saturday’s epic 47-23 over Toulouse to one side and while he watched events unfolding in Toulon, his mind was also on the rather less glamorous attraction of preparing for Glasgow.
“Glasgow are on a charge, It think they have had four or five wins on the trot. They are desperate to make up for the loss that we gave them earlier on in the campaign up there.
“There are lots and lots of reasons that we need to be at the top of our game. It is important, as a management group, that we are focused on that performance and give them the respect they deserve,” said Penney.
Confirmation is expected today that his captain Peter O’Mahony will miss the semi-final in Marseille on April 27th as he is expected to undergo surgery on his injured left shoulder.
But there was a double boost for Munster yesterday regarding centre Casey Laualala, who suffered a broken bone in his right hand against Toulouse, and lock Donnacha Ryan, who missed the Toulouse game and the Pro 12 clash with Leinster with a foot injury.
“We are very hopeful,” noted Penney about Ryan’s availability and he was also upbeat about Laulala being ready for the trip to Marseille.
“Casey is in plaster for 10 days but should be right in a couple of weeks for the semi-final,” said the coach.
Penney stressed that the position regarding his captain would not be known until today. O’Mahony travelled to Dublin yesterday afternoon to meet a specialist.
“We won’t know until tomorrow,until the specialists see the report,” said Penney at yesterday’s lunchtime press conference.
Penney will depart for Japan at the end of June and yesterday he welcomed the appointment by French second division side Pau of his assistant Simon Mannix as their coach for next season.
“I’ll be disappointed to not be coaching with him but that’s life and it’s great that he’s been able to secure a wonderful position, a position that has a lot of potential in France and they’re lucky to have him,” added Penney.