Awestruck Solomons hails ‘proud’ Munster

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons praised Munster for the way they demolished his side at Thomond Park yesterday.

Awestruck Solomons hails ‘proud’ Munster

The South African admitted he was in awe of a powerful second-half performance from the two-time European champions and described it as a typical display, with where heritage and tradition the was key to victory.

“Yes, a lot of what Munster are about is their heritage and their tradition and I think that plays a huge role, particularly when they are at home and where they get tremendous support. I think they are the keys things for them. There is a lot of pride in playing for Munster and a lot of pride in their jersey and that is the biggest factor.”

Solomons bemoaned the fact that back row forward Cornell Du Preez was sent to the sin bin seconds before half-time for an illegal charge on Munster’s Paul O’Connell. “What concerned me most (in the first half) was Cornell going off. That was a major, major moment in the game.

“The officials obviously felt that the cleanout constituted foul play. I would have to study the thing very carefully before I could comment on it, but it was a big decision as it had a major influence at that point. After half-time they went up 19-6 and then the game started to go beyond us; later on we had another yellow card, which made it very, very difficult.’

But Solomons had no complaints overall and hailed Munster for the way they recovered from defeat in round one in Murrayfield to stamp their class on Pool 6.

He believes they can go further too, praising Rob Penney for helping the squad evolve following the loss of key players over the last three or four years.

“Munster have evolved over many, many years and one must take nothing away from those great Munster sides with Ronan O’Gara at fly-half and Peter Stringer at scrum-half. They were fantastic teams and they played to their strengths in those days when Declan Kidney was coaching them, and Alan Gaffney also for a while.

“Ronan is now retired and the other young lad (Ian Keatley) is a very good player, but a different kind of player. I think what Rob is doing is playing to his strengths and the strengths of his team. They are playing some good football and they are a very, very good side.”

With a home quarter-final in the bag, Solomons believes Munster will be very hard to beat and reckons they might even go on to win the title yet again.

“Clearly, they will be very hard to beat here. Ultimately, knockout rugby will prevail and it is about what happens on the day, but I think the title is going to be won by any one of the three French clubs or the Irish provinces.”

In that sense he has warned Munster to take stock of what Toulouse might bring to Limerick on their day.

“Toulouse, on their day, can be devastating, but Toulouse do have the problem of being inconsistent in their performances. If you get Toulouse and they have a cracker of a day then you’ve got a problem because they’re a hell of a good side, but off their day, well that’s a different story,” he said.

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