Peter O’Mahony eager for another crack at Clermont Auvergne

Munster captain says ‘we can put the jersey back on and try to make it right’

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony: “If we play extremely well we’re always going to be hard to beat.” Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony: “If we play extremely well we’re always going to be hard to beat.” Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Peter O’Mahony eyes betrayed a flicker of animation as he answered a question about whether he’d like to be able to fast forward to kick-off time at the Stade Marcel Michelin on Sunday.

“Yes, yes, it’s been a long week,” he replied softly but his voice was flecked with a steely determination.

His impatience is understandable, the disappointment of last Saturday night, a festering sore.

The review of the game would have made for uncomfortable viewing while training would only have provided a restricted physical outlet to alleviate the grumpiness.

The Munster captain confirmed: “Look, we were cranky as you’d expect us to be. No professional athlete likes losing. I think it’s more important this week that you dust yourself off and get back into it as soon you can.

Mini competition

France

Second Captains

“We can pull the jersey back on and try to make it right. We have to be a lot better physicality-wise, that’s certainly one area we have to improve on, and the breakdown. That’s the way rugby’s gone. It seems like a big task but that’s where we have to get ourselves to if we’re going to be competing on Sunday.

“They were more accurate at times, they were more physical than us and if we are going to be competing on Sunday that’s something we are going to have to improve on. We can’t allow it happen again. If we do we are going to be beaten, guaranteed.”

O’Mahony dismissed the incident with Fritz Lee, in which the Ireland flanker was on the receiving end of punches.

“It’s lucky we’re not professional boxers anyway, because we missed most of the punches that were thrown. Look, that’s part and parcel of it at times and I certainly don’t have any issue with it.”

He gives credit to Clermont for the homework they did on the Munster lineout and also the French side’s physicality at the breakdown while at the same time stressing that inaccuracies on the part of the Irish province contributed to their downfall.

He’s not had to say much this week. “Funnily enough, these are the weeks when you probably speak the least amount to guys who’ve been there before and done it, guys who are lucky enough to be involved now, guys who’ve worked hard to get in the side from club level, who’ve grown up watching Munster and who know what it’s about; and what a trip away to France is like, especially when your life depends on it.

Biggest thing

A powerful motivation when packing for France; that and the prospect of a January shorn of many options.

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