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Kidney Calls For Better Start From Munster

Kidney Calls For Better Start From Munster

Munster coach Declan Kidney and his players know they cannot afford to make as sloppy a start as they did against Glasgow when they meet Toulouse in the Heineken Cup final in less than two weeks’ time.

Munster’s form in the past few weeks has not been particularly strong – their 21-18 defeat to Glasgow as their second Magners League loss in three games, while their winning margins against the Ospreys, Saracens and the Llanelli Scarlets were one point, two points and one point respectively.

The province are well capable of raising their game for their upcoming clash with Toulouse, their fourth European decider, and returning to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, the scene of their 2006 triumph, will also act as a spur as they look for one more big performance.

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Speaking after the Glasgow game, Declan Kidney said: “We’re very disappointed and losing this match at home is not what we wanted. We have to give credit to Glasgow though, they took their chances well and played smart rugby.

“We showed a different level of urgency in the last 10 minutes that we didn’t show for the first 70. We need to take a look at that, we can’t wait until a game is dying out, and must pick it up from the very start.”

Munster leaked early tries to Lome Fa’atau and Dougie Hall and were left chasing the game despite closing the gap on the Scots to 14-13 by half-time.

A controversial try from Thom Evans did further damage before Paul O’Connell lunged over for an injury-time touchdown to give the home side some late hope.

“We had a fair bit of possession at the start, but we weren’t back into shape quickly enough. We worked our way to within a point of them at half-time and then came that try against us in the second half, and in fairness to Dan Parks, he kicked everything, three conversions from the touchline. That was the difference.

“It’s always easier to get up and go to work after a win rather than a loss but then sometimes you learn more after a loss.

“We have two weeks now to the next game. We’ll go about our business next week and look at Toulouse the following week,” he said, turning his attention to the Heineken Cup showdown.

Meanwhile, Kidney, the newly appointed Ireland coach, has been named Philips Manager of the Month for April for his role in guiding Munster through to their fourth Heineken Cup final.

The Corkman has won the monthly award seven times in the past nine years and was also named Manager of the Year in 2006 when he guided Munster to Heineken Cup glory.

To listen to Declan Kidney’s post-match interview in full, please click here.