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O’Mahony Eager To ‘Build On Last Week’s Performance’

O’Mahony Eager To ‘Build On Last Week’s Performance’

As he prepares for Sunday’s Champions Cup round 6 fixture away to Benetton Treviso, Ronan O’Mahony says consistency is key for Munster as they look to build on the momentum gained from last Saturday’s win over Stade Francais.

Following on from his first two European appearances last season – away to Saracens and at home to Sale Sharks – Ronan O’Mahony started in the province’s back-to-back encounters with Stade Francais in the past fortnight, with the most recent Pool 5 game being just his second European appearance at Thomond Park.

“I was delighted to get the opportunity again, especially in my home town of Limerick at Thomond Park. It’s an unbelievable privilege to play for Munster,” said the Munster Academy graduate.

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“I just want to put my best foot forward and put in a performance for the coaches, the other players, my family and everyone who is supporting us. It wasn’t a full house in Thomond Park last weekend but it definitely felt like it.

“We just didn’t show up in Paris – simple as. We felt like we let ourselves down, left our supporters down and going into Stade Francais last week we knew we wanted to show our true character. For some it was a ‘dead rubber’, but for us there’s no such thing, especially when we have such good support showing up week in, week out. 

“No matter the level, be it club, ‘A’ or senior you have to play every game as if you are playing in Europe and play with the same heart and passion – that’s what the jersey is about. Even if people say the game is a dead rubber you wear the jersey with a full heart and pride. 

“Thankfully we got the win against Stade but now it’s about getting consistency and building on that performance going into Treviso.”

Munster make the journey to Italy knowing they are essentially out of this season’s competition. However, should O’Mahony and his team-mates take the maximum five points on offer at the Stadio di Monigo, there remains the slimmest of chances that Munster can progress from Pool 4 depending on other results. But the Reds will require at least five or six results to go their way.

“To be honest those connotations haven’t come up in conversation. It’s in the hands of the rugby gods and all we can do is concentrate on Treviso. First and foremost we are looking for a win. Whatever about bonus points, our first objective is the win and building on the Stade performance.

“We need consistency before a return to the PRO12 which is hugely competitive. There’s plenty we can improve on from last weekend’s game so we need to bring that into Treviso.

“We came off the pitch against Ulster and thought we can turn things around and didn’t back up that performance in Paris. We need to be careful not to make the same mistake again.

“Treviso will be tough with a very strong set piece and great continuity. They play a good offloading game with a lot of width and intensity and we’ll need to be alert to it. Plenty teams struggle with Treviso, they beat the Ospreys in round 6 last season so it will be a challenge and one that we are really looking forward to.”

Meanwhile, on the injury front, Rory Scannell sustained a concussion in the second half of last Saturday’s 26-13 win over Stade Francais. The centre left the pitch after 60 minutes and is currently following the return-to-play protocols.

There was positive news for James Cronin (ankle) and Dave O’Callaghan (adductor) with the loosehead prop returning to full training on Tuesday, while fellow Corkman and back rower O’Callaghan will take part in modified training this week.

Andrew Conway (hip pointer) continues to be monitored by the Munster medical team and it has been confirmed that BJ Botha (ACL) and Academy out-half Bill Johnston (dislocated shoulder) will undergo their respective surgeries at the end of next week.

In relation to Tyler Bleyendaal, who is managing a quadriceps tendon injury, Munster’s medical team confirmed that following specialist consultation over this last week, it has been decided that the New Zealander requires a 12-week rehabilitation period until he returns to play.

Stephen Archer (neck) has progressed to light on-pitch running, while Cathal Sheridan (calf), Duncan Casey (pec) and squad captain Peter O’Mahony (knee) all continue with their rehab programmes.