Munster boo-boys ‘saddened’ Mike Sherry

Mike Sherry believes the majority of Munster supporters still have the players’ backs but the hooker would rather the naysayers either go on board with them or stayed away from games.

Munster boo-boys ‘saddened’ Mike Sherry

Sherry heard the reception off-form fly-half Ian Keatley received at Thomond Park last Saturday night as Munster slumped to a 31-19 Champions Cup pool defeat to Leicester Tigers, a result which leaves the province desperately seeking a victory in Sunday’s return at Welford Road.

Keatley’s 74th minute substitution was greeted by some vociferous cheering only the deluded would describe as congratulatory after a performance that saw him miss three kicks at goal and a vital tackle on Niki Goneva that allowed the wing to score Leicester’s crucial first try.

As a schoolboy at Ardscoil Rís and a Garryowen clubman Sherry, 27, stood on those Thomond Park terraces himself, cheering on his idols in victory and defeat.

And he expected all Munster fans to do the same, through thick and thin.

“I’m very reluctant to give out about the Munster fans because the support we have got… when I was a young fella going over to the final in 2000, it has just been incredible,” Sherry said.

“But I did obviously notice what happened at the weekend, it has been well reported at this stage. It was really disappointing. It is a small section but it doesn’t matter, we tried unbelievably hard, we put our bodies on the line, we prepared very well during the week and left no stone unturned.

“That was really disappointing. It saddened me to hear fans doing that to a Munster player but I know that it is only a small section and I’d prefer if that small section didn’t come back to our games.

“The overall majority are incredibly supportive, they have our backs for this weekend and I have no doubt there is going to be a huge Munster contingent over in Welford Road.

“They are going to get tickets through however many outlets and they are going to be there and hopefully we can reward them with the big performance and the victory.”

Those travelling to the English East Midlands will be crossing fingers and toes that there is a vast improvement on the fare their team subjected them to in Limerick last Saturday.

Sherry, who could be promoted from the bench to starter this weekend, said it was up to the squad to make amends.

“We’re gutted to lose a European game in Thomond Park. The flip side is we have a chance to go to Welford Road as our own group and create our own bit of history.

“For this group of players, it’s not that we’re sick of hearing about it, but I grew up with Munster teams winning and I was just getting into the academy when they were winning European Cups and I want that for myself and for my friends.

“Killer (Dave Kilcoyne) and myself went to school (together) and it would mean so much to me and we want it as a group so we’re desperate for it.

“I think you will see a reaction at the weekend to losing at home, that’s not acceptable. We were happy with a lot of things we did but some things were sloppy and in a level of competition as high as this we got punished.”

Sherry, who continued his comeback from long-term injury by coming off the bench last Saturday and scoring his side’s second try, is confident that putting right the error-strewn performance, individually and collectively, is close at hand.

“I’ve had a lot of milestones, first game back at Thomond, first game back in Europe since I got back. I’m on the road now so I don’t really think about it anymore so scoring a try in Europe didn’t mean much to me because we lost the game,” he said.

“My performance wasn’t where I wanted it to be at the weekend and hopefully I’ll get a chance at the weekend. I don’t know if I will or I won’t but I’m feeling a 100% and not feeling rusty anymore.

“We’re close, very close. I think we need to put it all together and put in a big performance and show people how close we are. We can say it all we want but we need to go out and do it now.”

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