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Van Graan: It Comes Down To Small Moments And Taking Your Opportunities

Van Graan: It Comes Down To Small Moments And Taking Your Opportunities

Johann van Graan's Munster are back at Thomond Park this week to take on arch rivals Leinster ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

As they build towards Saturday’s rearranged Guinness PRO14 derby against Leinster, the Munster squad returned to training today at their base in Limerick.

Forwards Dave Kilcoyne and Jack O’Donoghue are both back on the training pitch after missing the recent interprovincial win over Connacht due to minor knocks.

In a further boost for the Conference B leaders, Jean Kleyn has completed his return-to-play protocols and Mike Haley is set to complete his return-to-play protocols today.

Setting up this week’s mouth-watering clash, head coach Johann van Graan commented: “It’s nice to play at home. We’ve got some good momentum (on the back of winning at Clermont and Connacht recently).

“We are four or five months down the line in terms of our development and in terms of playing time together. We’ve gone through a series of games where we had to win in different ways. No game is the same, sometimes you have to find a way to win.

“If you look through our season, some games we won convincingly, some we were down and out. Some games were won in the 83rd or 84th minutes. It’s a new game, we believe we can win every game we play.

“The difference when you play these big games, the interpros, you’re playing quality opposition and the teams know each other so well.

“Most of these guys will go into international competition next week, there’s not a lot of secrets. It’s literally individuals that have a huge influence on the game. Then, individual moments of brilliance. We’ve had some, they’ve had some. Those are the small moments.”

He added: “It comes down to small moments and guys taking their opportunities. We didn’t take our opportunities in the semi-final (last year) and they did.

“It’s another game in our season. We have played nine games in the PRO14 and won eight, and so have Leinster. They are definitely one of the form sides of the competition and of the last three years.

“They are rightly the champions and we’re looking forward to playing against them on Saturday evening at Thomond Park.”

Keynan Knox (knee), Matt Gallagher (shoulder), RG Snyman (knee), Neil Cronin (knee) and long-term absentee Joey Carbery (ankle) remain unavailable for selection.