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O’Mahony Wary Of Wounded Tigers

O’Mahony Wary Of Wounded Tigers

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony has warned of the danger posed by a wounded Leicester Tigers side next Saturday afternoon at Welford Road (kick-off 3.15pm).

A 38-0 win for the province over the English side secured maximum points in round 3 of the Champions Cup, but Leicester will be champing at the bit to get another go at Munster on their home patch. 

“Because it’s so close I think it makes the second week probably more difficult,” said Peter O’Mahony. “Especially given the club Leicester are and the quality they have, they will be hurting after that.

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“They’ll be waiting for us over there, and we have to have a big week. We have to recover well, and have a big training week, and probably have the biggest European week of this current team’s history so far. They’ll be mad to get us over there and get stuck into us.”

Munster have now won seven games in a row – two in the Champions Cup, four in the PRO12 and the victory over the Maori All Blacks – and delivered another big performance in Limerick last Saturday.

“Europe is very important to us and we have a history of making Thomond Park special. You always want to go out and honour it and honour the crowd and the effort they put in to show up and cheer us on like they always do. It was nice to be able to put in a good performance for them.”

O’Mahony’s focus is now firmly on the daunting trip to Leicester, with the teak-tough flanker adding: “We’ve been here before, we’ve won six out of six Heineken Cup pool games and lost quarter-finals, so you’ve really got to live in the week.

“Things can happen, things can go against you, all you have to worry about is the week you’re going into and the team that you’re up against. With the group we have, if you start looking down the line, and you’ll be turned over, especially against sides like Leicester.

“I don’t think we’re punching above our weight. I think we can keep building, we’re certainly a long way off from where this group can be.

“We’re still feeling our way into a game-plan, into what Rassie (Erasmus) and Jacques (Nienaber) and Jonesy (Felix Jones) and Fla (Jerry Flannery) are doing. We’re a long way off where we can be. But if we can keep momentum up, keep building from week to week. There will be losses, we know that and it will be about learning from them and learning from wins as well.”

Munster have no fresh injury concerns to contend with this week. Hooker Niall Scannell, who did retire from the round 3 game with a dead leg, took a full part in training yesterday.

Peter Malone’s Munster ‘A’ squad also lined out last weekend with a 35-24 win away to Rotherham Titans in the British & Irish Cup. 

James Cronin and Cian Bohane showed no ill-effects following their return from respective pec and ankle injuries, while Bill Johnston marked his first Munster ‘A’ appearance of the season with a 100% record off the tee, kicking five conversions.

On the injury front, Academy forward Sean O’Connor was an early retiree after sustaining an ankle injury in the opening minutes, while Alex Wootton suffered a shoulder injury during the second half. Both players will undergo further assessment by the medical team. 

Following Francis Saili’s return to full training last week, the province’s squad will be bolstered further by the return of Dave O’Callaghan (shoulder) and Kevin O’Byrne (elbow) this week.

Meanwhile, be there for Munster’s festive classic against Leinster at Thomond Park in what is a top of the table clash in the GUINNESS PRO12 on St. Stephen’s Day (kick-off 5.30pm).

Tickets can be purchased online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 061 421103.