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Munster Do It The Hard Way

4th December 2006 By Munster Rugby

Munster are now one point behind Connacht in the Magners League table and next up in the league is the home game against Leinster (Dec 27th) followed by a trip to the Sportsground on New Year’s Eve.

Munster are now one point behind Connacht in the Magners League table and next up in the league is the home game against Leinster (Dec 27th) followed by a trip to the Sportsground on New Year’s Eve.

Sundays win over Connacht at Thomond Park was most certainly a no frills affair with the home side forced to dig deep in order to overcome the challenge of their western neighbours. And the result was very much in doubt right up until the time with just six minutes of normal time remaining that Trevor Halstead made the crucial yardage for Christian Cullen to score.  That score ultimately denied Connacht a bonus point and had they left Thomond with something to show for their efforts there could have been no quibble.
In terms of possession and territory the stats will show that they dominated. They probably also came out on top in terms of the number of clean line breaks they made but Munster’s defence was good both up front and out wide.
In the opening half their out-half Mark McHugh was narrowly wide with a penalty that would have left them adrift by just three points but in the second half conditions forced McHugh to go for the line rather than the posts

Mind you, O’Gara landed his first from wide on the left in the opening half into the wind and afterwards professed himself happy enough with the performance, ” It was a huge game for us obviously given the League standings and it was always going to be close. I don’t think people give them (Connacht) the credit they deserve but we were never in any doubt about how tough it was going to be. In fairness they put together a lot of consistent phases and they made us scrap for every bit of possession.  So I think we’d have to be very happy overall.
“It was also important in the context of next weekend. Getting that game under our belts will help us identify the areas we need to work on and hopefully leave us in good shape for Cardiff.”

Munster are now one point behind Connacht in the Magners League table and next up in the league is the home game against Leinster (Dec 27th) followed by a trip to the Sportsground on New Year’s Eve.

After this performance, Connacht will fancy their chances and Leinster’s eye-catching display in Ravenhill, where they were unlucky not to take full points, means that December – that includes back-to-back games with Cardiff Blues – will go a long way in defining Munster’s season.

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