Clermont won’t underestimate Munster, Gibbes promises

Former Leinster forwards coach now with Clermont believes Toulouse didn’t understand what it took to beat Munster in Thomond Park in last year’s Heineken Cup quarter-final

Former All Black and Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbes, now  in the first year of a two-year contract as Clermont forwards coach. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Former All Black and Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbes, now in the first year of a two-year contract as Clermont forwards coach. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Former Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbes said there is no danger of Clermont Auvergne underestimating the task they face when they come to Thomond Park in December.

The former All Black, who is in the first year of a two-year contract as Clermont forwards coach, said Toulouse went down in the Heineken Cup quarter-final at Thomond Park last season because they had no appreciation of what it takes to play there.

His new charges got their Champions Cup campaign back on track at the weekend with a bonus point 35-3 win over Sale Sharks, having picked up just a point in their opening day 30-23 loss away to Saracens.

The French side travel to Thomond Park on December 6th before hosting Anthony Foley’s men at Stade Marcel Michelin a week later, and Gibbes said they will be primed for the task.

“I think Toulouse embarrassed themselves last year when they went down there.

“I don’t think they fully comprehended what Munster playing in a European play-off game means and they weren’t right.

“They are a very good team but they were a few per cent off where they needed to be and Munster were excellent that day, so that is probably a lesson that I would try and convey having dealt with Munster quite a lot.

“You need to be physically committed and you need to be emotionally [committed] in that game because they will be,” said Gibbes, who joined Leinster in 2008 and had many big jousts with Munster.

He has settled in well at Stade Marcel Michelin, a process that was made easier by some help from Joe Schmidt, who spent three seasons there as backs coach to Vern Cotter, including their sole Top 14 triumph in 2010 after 11 final defeats.

“He gave a great insight into the club and everything I should expect, and certainly he has been very accurate. It is mostly been positive and that was a positive insight.

“Aside from that I know it is a different language but really rugby is rugby and the coaching aspects are very similar.

“I was lucky to work at Leinster, such a fantastic work ethic, and the work ethic is equally as strong here. I want to do things a little bit differently, but it is enjoyable,” he added.

.

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