Labit not going to roll over for Reds

CASTRES coach Laurent Labit warns his side will be no pushovers when they come to Thomond Park for Saturday’s Pool 1 Heineken Cup showdown with Munster.

The southern French outfit lost 38-21 to Michael Cheika’s Stade Francais side at the weekend, taking the number of points conceded in their last three away games to 99, but Labit is refusing to read too much into that statistic

“Despite the defeat, we are still joint third in the French Championship, which isn’t a bad place to be,” said Labit.

“We know the two Heineken Cup matches ahead of us are going to be very difficult but there are several things we’ll take out of the game in Paris.

“Castres have a reputation of being a kicking team but there weren’t many kicks against Stade Francais. Instead we showed we can play with our hands too.

“The first 30 minutes passed us by. But despite that we scored three tries. This is the sort of thing we need to remember before going out to play Munster.”

With no chance of making it to the quarter-finals, the French side are expected to rotate their squad for this weekend’s trip to Limerick, although there is expected to be a place in the side for France winger Marc Andreu, who was injured against Munster in Toulouse back in November.

Labit admitted that while he expected to see his men give it their all in Thomond Park, the French side would still be using the two Heineken matches as a launching pad for the rest of their Top 14 campaign.

“Those two games are important to prepare the reception of Biarritz which could be the turning point of our season.

“The Munster match and the one after that will help us to grow a little more as a team. We are going to go there and play to our abilities. We’re motivated by the idea of learning from the experience and getting through it successfully.

“In addition we expect to have four players back from injuries, including the likes of Marc Andreu and Yannick Forestier. That’ll help us a lot.”

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