Munster coach Anthony Foley is targeting the Pro12 clash with Glasgow next month for Tomás O’Leary’s return to provincial action.
O’Leary has returned to Munster from English Premiership side London Irish. After being kept under wraps for several weeks, O’Leary was smiling as he left training at the University of Limerick yesterday, happy that a niggling groin strain is easing.
For head coach Anthony Foley, it’s not a bad situation either and he reported: “Tomás, we’re hoping, could feature this weekend for Dolphin. Definitely, if not this weekend, we’d look in the next fortnight for him to get games over with Dolphin. We obviously have two weeks off after this fixture and so he needs game time to get him within an opportunity for selection against Glasgow.”
Before that though, is a trip to Ospreys on Sunday for Munster. Foley expects a tough test in Wales and despite making a winning start in last Saturday’s opening game against Treviso, he is demanding more of his side.
“We were below-par (against Treviso), in terms of what we were looking for, from the game. But we won the game, we got four points. Last year we got one point. So it is about looking at the positive side of it. We created a lot of opportunities, out on the pitch. We didn’t take them, so we have looked at that in detail.
“We have made sure that everybody knows where we need to improve. As I said after the game, it would be worse if we weren’t creating opportunities, and we didn’t have the opportunities to score. Then we would have a different headache. But we are creating opportunities, now we have got to finish it.”
Foley is concerned about the way the game petered out and admitted that the set-piece, particularly the scrum, didn’t function.
“On their own ball Treviso managed to get four penalties, that kind of shifted their mindset. Look, we didn’t help ourselves either by knocking-on the ball the ball, and giving them more scrums. We have obviously, dealt with that within the group. Hopefully we can see the other side of it next weekend.
“There was a bit of chat yeah, and a good block of units today (yesterday). So the boys have got through that, and hopefully we will feel more confident in what we are trying to do. There is a bit of shift, in terms of where we were last year. Our scrum was dominant towards the end of last season, but it took 48 weeks to get there.
“We are now in week 12. We have a different bunch, and they are all building, and hopefully we keep improving and we get there. With the bunch of players that we have, we have that capability.”
Foley said there would be changes in the team, in the knowledge that the Liberty Stadium is a forbidding place to visit.
“I think there will be changes, it’s always important that fellas are going over to the Liberty Stadium, to prove a point. It is a tough place to go, it has been for a number of years. It doesn’t matter what Munster team goes over there. When we played Neath, the Gnoll was a tough place to go, St Helen’s was a tough to go when we played Swansea. So, these are two venues.
“We are three wins out of 12 for the Liberty so it is not the most inviting place for Munster to go. But, it will be a good test for the boys this weekend.”
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