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24th Oct 2016

The final answer of Munster’s post-match press briefing was an inspirational mission statement for future success

Rousing words

Patrick McCarry

By God, weren’t Munster ferocious on Saturday?

Every single player that was fortunate enough to get onto that Thomond Park pitch paid their own crunching form of respect to their late coach, Anthony Foley.

Munster played with a sort of seething intensity we have only seen in flashes over the last few years and, on a day for reflection, allowed many to look to the future with hope.

Playing with 14 men for over an hour, Munster called on every last physical and emotional ounce to put a very good Glasgow Warriors side to the sword. It was as if the good old days had never left.

The question on everyone’s lips, now, is ‘Can Munster do it again next week?’

The final answer of Rassie Erasmus’ press briefing, on Saturday, suggested they are more than capable of reaching these high performance levels again. The Munster director of rugby said:

“That was Axel’s biggest frustration. It was his biggest frustration. He believed so much in the players and he knew what they could do, and what they were capable of. Sometimes it was a matter of them not believing in themselves. That was his frustration.

“The players and myself should take a lot of learning out of this. If we have performances like that – we may never get crowds as emotionally involved as they were in on such a special day as today – but the players should realise the fans will be here if we play like that. The stadiums will be full.

“That is the way we can rebuild Munster to what it was.”

The Munster Squad stand for a minutes silence for the late Anthony Foley 22/10//2016

Munster No.8 CJ Stander took a similar line when he spoke with the press after Saturday’s 38-17 victory. He commented:

“We’re our own team now. If we drop the standards from where we were today, it would just be a shame. 

“We know what we can do now. We know the way we want to play. It is the way Axel wanted us to play.”

Ulster are up next on Friday and Munster want to go ‘bigger and better’.

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