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Cronin: Clinical Edge Crucial For Munster

Cronin: Clinical Edge Crucial For Munster

Try scorer James Cronin was understandably very happy with Munster’s 34-23 defeat of Leinster in Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO12 derby match at the Aviva Stadium.

The Aviva Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Munster in recent years. In fact, Saturday’s game marked the province’s first win in Dublin since September 2008.

“It was great to get a performance like that under our belts. I think everything clicked for us in the first half, each man had his own job to do and every man stood up on the night,” admitted James Cronin, the workhorse loosehead prop who crossed for Munster’s opening try in the 18th minute.

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“There was a great level of intensity to our game and the work-rate was good across the park so thankfully it worked out for us.

“The week before (against the Ospreys) we hadn’t put in the performance we wanted to but we still had an opportunity to win the game at the end, so we knew we weren’t that far off the mark. The difference on Saturday was that we made better decisions and were more clinical when it mattered most.

“It was great to get the four points and having not won up there in so long – that made it all the more enjoyable.”

Known for his dynamism and powerful ball-carrying abilities on the pitch, Cronin has become even more of a juggernaut in attack, and it was more a question of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ he would cross the try-line for Munster this season.

Good phase play saw Anthony Foley’s men make good ground on the left, with Cronin coming at speed to take the final pass from Conor Murray and touch down at full stretch despite the efforts of three Leinster defenders.

“It’s always good getting on the scoreboard but that’s just part and parcel of it – I like getting my hands on the ball, throwing it around and carrying it. The other lads put in a serious effort along the way to get us into that position and it was great to be on the receiving end of the final pass.”

One blot in Munster’s copybook on the night was four players seeing yellow in the second half, something which the Cork youngster says will be addressed swiftly.

“Of course getting four yellow cards isn’t ideal. We’ve got a good defence and we back our decisions at ruck time, but last Saturday that let us down in the second half and we were punished for it,” added Cronin.

“Nobody goes out with the intention of getting a yellow card but sometimes a guy can get carried away in the heat of the moment.

“Discipline is massive for us and at reviews (today) we’ll be shown our mistakes and told what not to do – we’ll learn from those incidents. After that it’s up to us as players to go out and not repeat the same mistakes again.”

With the first interprovincial of the season completed, the focus in the Munster camp now switches firmly to the Scarlets at Thomond Park this coming Friday.

“This Friday is going to be massive for us. Having lost two home games already we know we owe the Thomond Park crowd a big performance,” insisted the 23-year-old, who made his Ireland debut during the recent summer tour to Argentina.

“We’ll also need a performance when taking on the likes of the Scarlets who are a very good side. We’ll come with everything we came with against Leinster – the same preparation and the same physicality.”