Munster are riding high at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 after the opening three rounds of matches. Forwards coach Anthony Foley has been encouraged by the side’s displays to date but knows that next weekend’s trip to Cardiff will be a testing one.
Munster resumed training at the University of Limerick on Monday morning, buoyed by their bonus point win over the Scarlets in Cork on Saturday.
“We were delighted with the outcome (of the Scarlets game),” admitted the province’s forwards coach Anthony Foley, reflecting on the 35-12 triumph.
“Okay, at times it was sloppy. At times we lost our flow. At times we didn’t play the way we’d planned. But look, you can’t always get it spot on much as you’d like.
“Everyone strives for perfection and fluid play but unfortunately when conditions deteriorated to the state they did in the second half, the ball became a bar of soap and that made things very difficult.”
Once again there was much to like about the younger players on show for Munster, two of whom, replacements Duncan Williams and Tommy O’Donnell, scored tries while Dave Foley was impressive particularly in the lineout.
“As I said before, there’s a good mindset, there’s a good attitude in the side. They don’t give up. They don’t give anything to the opposition without them having to earn it.
“For the young lads they’re learning their trade and applying their trade very well out there. If you judge them off the first three league games you’d have to be impressed. But we want more.
“We’re kind of selfish in that manner in that we want bigger performances from these guys. And by demanding more in training and by them being self critical hopefully we can push it on to another level.”
Prop Darragh Hurley has resumed full training after a period on the sidelines with an Achilles injury, while Danny Barnes and Ian Nagle are also back in contention for matchday duty in the Welsh capital.
Barnes missed last weekend’s game with a minor hand injury but trained with the rest of the squad in Limerick on Monday. He is expected to be included in the extended squad to face Cardiff, along with Hurley and Nagle (shoulder).
Tomas O’Leary, who has been nursing a back problem, will do light training this week with a return to full training on the cards for next week.
Peter Borlase remains on the ‘unavailable for selection’ list along with Troy Smith, who had knee surgery last week, and injured Ireland internationals David Wallace and Felix Jones.