O’Mahony admits there’s plenty to rectify

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony: “I suppose it is encouraging that we had a bonus point win without having our lineout functioning. But that doesn’t change how unhappy we’ll be about it, we have a lot of work to do during the week. Photograph: Dan Sheridan

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony: “I suppose it is encouraging that we had a bonus point win without having our lineout functioning. But that doesn’t change how unhappy we’ll be about it, we have a lot of work to do during the week. Photograph: Dan Sheridan

 


Gloucester’s 23-12 win in Edinburgh underlined how much Munster’s opening weekend defeat in Murrayfield was a lost opportunity, and with Munster also having to go to Kingsholm in the penultimate round of pool matches, the demands on the province in the Stade Aimé Giral next Saturday remain acute.

Hence, despite achieving this bonus point, captain Peter O’Mahony cut a relatively downbeat figure when analysing events afterwards.

“We have to take a good look at our performance. There are things we weren’t happy with, so I think the next 48 hours is going to be very important for us to get a good lead up before we head away for next weekend.

“Our lineout didn’t function well; it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. And I think some of our defending was average at times. Probably those two areas will be the two that we’ll have a good look at this week.”

“I suppose it is encouraging that we had a bonus point win without having our lineout functioning. But that doesn’t change how unhappy we’ll be about it, we have a lot of work to do during the week and it’s vital for us.

‘A bit loose at times’
“I think at times we need to hold on to the ball. I think we were a bit loose at times in contact and that’s something we’ll have to have a look at as well.

“It’s good to have the home game out of the way and have five points in the bag; anything else and we were probably in a little bit of trouble, so we’re happy out with that.”?

Maintaining the theme, and perhaps mindful of that Edinburgh slip-up, O’Mahony admitted that at least Munster won’t be getting carried away.

“It wasn’t good enough and it will open our eyes to the areas we need to improve on. I think even that try at the end we’ll be very disappointed with because it was the last play in the game and we let ourselves down a bit. So those kind of things will open our eyes up to exactly where we have to look at during the week.”

Intensity
Asked if a reprise of yesterday’s performance would be good enough next Saturday, O’Mahony paused for thought and admitted: “Probably not, I’d say. I think we have to go up a little step in intensity.

“They’ll have their crowd behind them. French teams are extremely tough at home, so we’ll have to be really on our game to get what we want out of the game next week.

“I haven’t played there but it looks like a great place to play. The lads always speak very highly of the atmosphere that is there so it’s a great place to go and play rugby and it’s great to get the opportunity to play there but it brings its own challenges and we’ll be looking hard at ourselves during the week.”

Perpignan’s French outhalf Camille Lopez limped off in the second half to add to their injury woes, although they will have former Munster centre Lifeimi Mafi back from his six-week suspension next weekend, and their Italian outhalf Tommy Allan, who replaced Lopez, was optimistic the Catalans would, true to form, perform better next week.

“It was great to play in such an awesome stadium. Our game plan was good but we need to focus more on keeping the ball.

“We didn’t take our chances and we possibly weren’t up for it as much as we should have been. But our crowd in Perpignan will lift us. If we win, we can still make the quarters. If we lose, we won’t, so we have to win.”