It took a back-to-basics approach for Munster to rebound from their Cardiff Blues no-show to get the show on the road again last weekend and Jean Kleyn believes the squad will be similarly focused ahead of tomorrow’s tricky league trip to Edinburgh.
Edinburgh v Munster
Tomorrow: Murrayfield, 7.35pm
Betting: Edinburgh 4/5,
Munster 11/10, Draw 14/1
Last Friday’s 21-10 Guinness PRO14 win over Conference A leaders Glasgow Warriors in Cork helped second-row Kleyn and his team-mates draw a line under the previous week’s well-below-par display at Cardiff Arms Park, where Munster lost 25-18.
That the province rescued a losing bonus point, having trailed 19-5 at half-time, cut little ice among a playing group determined to right the wrongs ahead of their home game against the Warriors.
“I think we just went back to basics,” said Kleyn. “I think we were a little bit vocal about what we were… amongst ourselves... and we said: ‘Look, a little bit less talk and a little bit more effort this week.’
And I think the boys performed and we all stepped up to the plate in that aspect you know.
“We spoke with our actions rather than our words which is the way it should be done. I think we are going to try to keep to the trend of last week, stick to our systems, try to impose our game-plan on (Edinburgh) but, yeah, obviously you want to get the win out of it.
“You cross that bridge when you come to it but it would be good to finish this block of four games on a good note.”
Tomorrow’s trip to Murrayfield represents Munster’s final game of the international window, their last effort without team-mates involved in Ireland’s Six Nations campaign and, for many, a final chance to stake claims for involvement in the final quarter of the campaign, as the Reds look to confirm a PRO14 play-off berth and advance to the Champions Cup semi-finals with a last-eight victory over Toulon on March 31.
Beating Glasgow was Munster’s second win of the block, cutting the gap on the leaders to 12pts, with third-placed Cheetahs 10pts adrift of Munster with five regular- season rounds remaining.
“It was a massive win for us but at the same time, it was a massive game,” said Kleyn. “We talked about it all week and we said we needed to rectify our performance against Cardiff, which I think we all can agree on was poor at best, so it was a big match for us in our season.
“We are chasing Glasgow and we do have hopes of catching them so very glad for the result but we can’t be overconfident going into this weekend. Edinburgh have only lost one match at home this season so it’s a big challenge.”
Edinburgh’s return to the national stadium is likely to make for an odd atmosphere, with 90% of its seats unoccupied.
Yet, whatever the backdrop, the South African lock is sure the opposition will pose a threat, having overtaken Ulster to claim third place in Conference B.
Richard Cockerill’s side are unbeaten in 2018 and, before their two recent away wins in Belfast and Newport, took care of conference leaders Leinster at Myreside on February 9.
“There’s a little bit of drive going there, so I think they have also got a sniff, they are doing quite well.
“I’ve always said playing Edinburgh away last season was one of the toughest games I’ve played in the northern hemisphere. They are a notoriously hard side, I think they have hit their stride this year and it’s something we’ll be hoping to curb the coming weekend.”
A Munster statement said: “Following further consultation with the specialist, it has been confirmed that centre Chris Farrell will take no further part in this season’s campaign.”
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