Ryan: We must up game 25%

Donnacha Ryan has demanded a 25% improvement from Munster for Saturday’s game with Saracens in the Heineken Cup.

Munster were sublime against Glasgow Warriors in the RaboDirect Pro12 at the weekend but Ryan knows they will have to up their performance for Saracens.

“Saracens are doing brilliantly in the Premiership and they’ve had a fantastic start to the Heineken Cup,” he said.

“We’re certainly going to be up against it. We’ll have to up our standards about 25% or 30% from tonight. We’re going to be up against it.”

However, he knows the team are starting to click and singled out South African import CJ Stander for special mention following the newcomer’s sensational debut that yielded two tries.

“It was a great welcome to Thomond Park for CJ. It’s great to come off a breakdown and see lads sprinting down the field and knowing you can chase after them. He got an idea what the weather was like last week when he came on but really enjoyed himself this time.

“He’s got great chat in him in terms of lineout and scrum and that’s very positive to see from a new fella coming in. It goes to show how good a break it was for him that we had to chase him down the field. Everyone appreciates how fast he is. Even in training he gives the backs a run for their money. We were all wrecked trying to celebrate with him.”

His performance was one of the many positives from that 31-3 victory and the timing, a week after a home loss to the Scarlets, could not have come at a better time.

“It was a fantastic result. Five points is a great response from the previous week,” said Ryan.

“Everything went right for us in the first-half. Our attacking shape looked good and we scrambled well in defence.

“It was soft underfoot and the ground was cutting up. I thought we were fantastic and it was a great response to last week but now we need to maintain that standard. The penalty try showed the competition there is and there’s fellas sticking their hands up.”

But as he looks for improvement for the Saracens game he pointed to turnovers as being one of Munster’s major current problems.

“We need to sharpen up in terms of turnovers. In Heineken Cup you get punished an awful lot more if you’re not careful.

“We need to get more familiarity and up the concentration levels in training. We need to up the standards. We were a bit sluggish in the second-half so we need to ensure we maintain the type of tempo we had in the first-half.

“The plus after the break was that we had a good defensive effort but obviously we would have liked to have held on to the ball a little more. There were a few systems failures and we’ll work on that during the week.”


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