CJ Stander and Anthony Foley have promised Munster will be taking nothing for granted when lowly Newport Gwent Dragons visit Cork for the final Guinness Pro12 round of the regular season on Saturday.
Already guaranteed a place in the play-off semi-finals a week later, Munster can book a home berth in the last four with a victory over the ninth-placed Dragons that would secure a top-two finish to the league campaign.
It may need a bonus-point win but Munster player of the year Stander, who picked up his sixth Guinness Pro12 man of the match award of the season in the 23-23 draw with Ulster, believes the Welsh region are better than their league position suggests and his side will have to work hard if they are to achieve their goal of a home semi-final.
“We have them at home but they are a tough team to play so we are just going to take the game and go for the win,” Stander said of the Dragons.
“We’ll work hard this week on the small things we did this week and push through. You know a full Thomond Park, semi-final, that is what you want. The last few games is cup rugby and it’s going to be difficult. You are going to have to play the best game you can and hopefully we can build on that next week and the week after as well.”
Munster head coach Foley was equally dismissive of the notion that the Dragons represented a soft end to the campaign.
“Everyone assumes that but we know how good Dragons are. They won at the weekend against Edinburgh, they’ve beaten Ulster over in Rodney Parade, beaten Leinster home and away, they were in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup. They’re a very good side. They’re a very young side. I came across an article a couple of weeks ago, an academy XV in Wales and there were six of the XV. They’ve a very young side with a lot of capability, you know Faletau’s a good player and Tovey at 10, they’re all good players and will be up for the occasion. So we’ll take nothing for granted in Cork next weekend and we’ll make sure we’re fully set for that game. Other results are out of our hands and we’ve just got to do the best we can for ourselves and see where that leaves us.”
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