Ferreira hails vibe and energy among Munster group

JP Ferreira might now be preparing for the Australian Open or some other tournament had he followed in his mother’s footsteps and gone down a tennis route as a player and coach rather than rugby.

Ferreira hails vibe and energy among Munster group

JP Ferreira might now be preparing for the Australian Open or some other tournament had he followed in his mother’s footsteps and gone down a tennis route as a player and coach rather than rugby.

But Ferreira opted for rugby when growing up in Pretoria although his mother Brigitte Cuypers, a three-time South African Open winner, instilled the skills and love of tennis in him.

But instead of some warm-weather location in the southern hemisphere, Ferreira finds himself in Limerick preparing for his third clash with Leinster at Thomond Park since he arrived here two years ago, and he wasn’t long getting a taste for it.

“It was my first game when I joined Munster. I had a feel for it. I wasn’t too involved that week. I only came in that week and I was sitting in the coaches’ box on the side, so I had a good feel.

"A sell-out crowd, the same as it’s going to be this week, 27,000 people coming to watch a fixture which is massive.

“There are always highs and lows in a game. Funnily enough, in the last couple of games there have been yellow and red cards.

"It is going to be interesting game. Hard-fought battle like it always is.”

He appreciates the form Leinster have shown this season and feels they will crank up their defence and a few other things after last weekend’s astonishing 54-42 clash with Ulster, particularly conceding six tries at home.

“It is where they will put their focus. Coming to Thomond Park and just watching previous games there will be a massive emphasis from both sides on the defensive side of it. I don’t think they will be off-the-boil there this weekend coming.

“They will probably focus a bit on defence, and Felipe Contepomi will hammer home the fundamentals again. It will massive on the weekend for us.

“They are the in-form team in Europe. They are doing well in the PRO14 with their academy guys coming through. They have got a brilliant feeder system, brilliant coaching staff.

"It is going to be a massive game for us. It is going to be a massive game for them. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Leinster’s heavy concession against Ulster means that Munster go into this clash with the least tries conceded in the competition this season on 14, three less than Leo Cullen’s men.

But Ferreira said they don’t change anything in the build-up to Leinster or indeed any team or competition.

“For me, a European Cup game to a PRO14 game doesn’t change. Same prep, same mindset, same focus for the week. The emotion will be there for this one.

"It is to have that clear heads, be disciplined, not concede yellow cards or too many penalties.

"Because once Leinster get into your 22 they are dangerous and they keep the ball for long passages and they have that killer mindset in the 22 so we need to be disciplined all round.

The World Cup has given us an opportunity bring through our academy guys and our youngsters and I really feel they have stepped up to the plate.

"There is excitement, there is a vibe, there is a energy in the group.

“For them to know they stand a chance to play on the weekend makes them excited. Then they go up against the best. Ultimately that is where they want to be.

"They train every day to be and to play at that level. It is brilliant for the guys and the juniors coming through.”

Christmas was fairly quiet for him and a million miles away from what he would be doing if he was back home now in the middle of the close season.

“This time of the year I would be sitting back having a brandy back in South Africa, with a barbeque happening.

“But I’m really enjoying it here, there isn’t time to think. The season has been good and we have flown into it pretty easy.

"I don’t have any sitting back and relaxing now, it is just go, go, go. We just need to get a result on the weekend,” he added.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox