Jump to main content


Penney: There Were Sterling Performances Up Front

Penney: There Were Sterling Performances Up Front

Munster climbed to third in the RaboDirect PRO12 after narrowly defeating Connacht 16-12 at the Sportsground. Their head coach Rob Penney was under no illusion of how hard a task it was going to be and praised his squad for the victory.

“It was all that I expected it to be and the Connacht guys can be really proud of their performance,” said Munster head coach Rob Penney afterwards. “Eric (Elwood) and his team are functioning well and are a very difficult proposition up here.

“I’m equally as proud of our boys that we were able to come up here and secure four points heading into Christmas, to be able to sit back and relax a little bit knowing we have secured the four points in a really difficult battle.”

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Munster were fortunate to say the least with Fetu’u Vainikolo and George Naoupu both going close to scoring tries for the westerners.

Just after the half hour mark, Vainikolo looked to have left the Munster defence for dead before the covering Ian Keatley tackled the Tongan winger into touch.

Then with minutes to go in the game, Naoupu narrowly missed out on grounding the ball for a match-winning try with Keatley’s half-back partner Peter Stringer putting the Connacht lock under just enough pressure.

“Keats is a quick guy and Vainikolo in space, that has alarm bells ringing big time. He did a great job, not only to get to him but to put in a fantastic tackle that took him into touch without allowing him to reach over and get the ball down.

“You have to give Ian Keatley a lot of credit there and at the other end the field, I thought Strings was superb tonight. I thought he marshalled the boys well.”

Penney had the likes of Donnacha Ryan and Peter O’Mahony out due to international requirements, but he was pleased with how the replacements stepped up to the task. While they have a long way to go, he believes their future is bright.

“I think there were some sterling performances up front. I thought Stephen Archer was a massive tower of strength, not only at scrum time but also some of his carries,” he added.

“I thought Billy Holland had a top game in the tight and Tommy O’Donnell and Paddy Butler in the loose, in particular, got around the track – two guys that haven’t had a lot of exposure but have very bright futures in this organisation.”