Peter O’Mahony accepts Munster need to improve if they are to get the better of Racing 92 this weekend.
Munster emerged from Castres with two points in the bag last weekend in a game that could have easily seen them come home with just the one, bar a few missed penalties by the opposition place kicker.
Speaking to the press this week, Munster captain Peter O’Mahony says this weekend’s performance will have to improve significantly if they are to record a first home win of the campaign.
Some silly penalties, missed tackles and a missed exit play proved costly. Unforced errors and ill-discipline are momentum killers and O’Mahony is acutely aware that Munster will have to be better this Saturday.
“You mess up an exit against a team like Clermont or Castres or Racing or any of these teams of this calibre immediately you’ve pressure on again, you’re back foot, you’re defending your tryline and that’s when its harder not to give away penalties, harder to get out of there.”
“When you give them that opportunity to get back into the game or to get a foothold in the game you’re making everything more difficult for you. It’s probably to be 5 or 10% sharper.”
Another area singled out was Munster’s poor use of territory especially when wind assisted in the second half. The Corkman felt Munster tried to force the issue at times in their European opener and knows his side will have to be patient and play smart rugby on Saturday to prevail.
A big factor in Munster’s attacking game plan is Simon Zebo and O’Mahony says the recent return of his fellow Corkman has added an extra dimension to their attacking arsenal.
“Zeebs picked some good lines again at the weekend. He gives us front foot ball, which is so important in the game and I thought that some of his counter attack was excellent. I don’t have to talk zeebs up, his try scoring cv speaks for itself but its good to have him back”
Racing 92 have come to Limerick with a talent packed side that mean business and will pose serious questions of Munster and their progression. In their two biggest games this season against Glasgow and Leinster, Munster will feel they didn’t perform to their potential and will have to rectify that this weekend.
Despite a mixed opening encounter, O’Mahony is confident that Munster can mix it with the best teams in the competition.
“Look you have to have that kind of confidence. If you’re going out there thinking I want to avoid this team or that team you’re going to be in trouble. We’ve big belief in ourselves and in the jersey and what we stand for, and every time we go out we think we can win.”
It all points to what promises to be a huge game on Saturday evening in front of a passionate home crowd but O’Mahony knows that emotion and passion will not alone win the game.
“Every team loves playing at home but Thomond is quite special and it certainly doesn’t give you the right to win or it doesn’t put any points on the board but we really enjoy playing against teams there with a full house in Europe. Supporters love it, we love it but that’s only the start of it, there’s a lot of hard work and graft and big performances and technical execution and excellence to get a win.”