Howlett: We need to forget Glasgow result

Doug Howlett says it’s crucial that Munster put to bed the dismal Rabo Direct Pro 12 loss to Glasgow last weekend.

Howlett: We need to forget Glasgow result

Doug Howlett says it’s crucial that Munster put to bed the dismal Rabo Direct Pro 12 loss to Glasgow last weekend.

It comes as Munster make final preparations for Sunday’s make or break Heineken Cup quarter-final clash with Harlequins at the Stoop.

Rob Penny’s side were hammered 51-24 and many would be forgiven for thinking that after that result, which ended hopes of a play-off spot in the league, that Munster’s season is dead and buried.

Speaking after training in Musgrave Park this week, the Munster captain said: “The last thing we wanted was to come in with our heads moping, we needed to deal with that game and focus on what’s ahead.”

“This is a unique week and an opportunity that we have worked on all year to get to, so the idea is to realize we're here and enjoy it and make the most of the opportunity.”

Players and coaches in the past have said that big losses in a way help to focus the mind more for the next task ahead, and what a game to focus the mind on.

What makes this game a little more interesting is that Conor O’Shea’s side have also been a little sticky in recent weeks and have lost their last two Aviva Premiership games.

Howlett added: “Look, it’s a different competition and we aren’t looking too much into that, we know they are an exciting team and we know what they are capable of.”

When you look at the stats book, Munster are by far the more experienced Heineken Cup team. Sunday will be the 14th quarter-final for the visitors to London, while for Quins it’s only a first, but the captain isn’t buying into stats.

“We won’t be looking at the game that way and I’m sure they won’t be either, it's an opportunity for them and us to push on in this competition.”

In what will be a star-studded contest, it is no surprise that mainly test players feature as the two clubs’ top performers on the Amlin Opta Index.

Nick Easter, who is not currently part of the England set-up, is regarded as Harlequins’ top player. Easter has racked up 64 carries and 12 offloads in attack while in defence, he has completed 24 of 27 tackles and forced five turnovers.

Munster’s top four players on the Amlin Opta Index played in the Six Nations this season and versatile back Keith Earls tops that list. The 2009 British & Irish Lion averaged a gain of 48 metres per match and managed five defenders beaten in three appearances. He also weighed in with two try assists.

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