“A lot of pleasing things but a lot to work on aswell” | Andi Kyriacou and Roman Salanoa still seeking improvements at Munster

The men in red have a Champions Cup knockout clash to look forward to in April after pushing Toulouse all the way last weekend.

Munster return to domestic action this Saturday as they travel to Treviso to face Benetton in the URC. Last weekend, the province booked their place in the round of 16 in the Champions Cup after a battling defeat in Toulouse.

It was continued improvement from the red province who have seen an upturn in fortunes since the turn of the new year as they have picked up a pair of wins in the domestic league.

In that time they have risen to 7th in the table and they can leapfrog their opponents this Saturday with a win as the Italian side currently sit one point ahead of them.

Coach Andi Kyriacou has seen the province get better every week under the new coaching ticket as he seeks improvement “week to week.”

“We’re seeing week-on-week improvements around a lot of aspects of our game. We don’t envisage on that dropping away, it’s the standards we set ourselves, week to week, day to day. It doesn’t matter what players are available, we are living by those standards and that’s what we need. We need a squad of players that can fill in at any moment and the performance not dip.”

Against Toulouse, Munster found themselves ahead in the second half following an incredible try involving Craig Casey, Shane Daly, Jean Kleyn, Calvin Nash, John Hodnett and Tadhg Beirne with the latter finishing off the move.

Eventually, they were reeled in by the 2021 champions but the performance was nonetheless pleasing to the management. However, Kyriacou and co are completely focused on the task at hand with qualification to the knockout stages of the URC far from assured.

“A lot of it was great, a lot of pleasing things but a lot to work on aswell. Pleased with aspects of the performance but disappointed by the result. The Sharks we will deal with when we get a bit closer to it. Our focus is on Treviso this weekend and we know what a threat they are, especially at home and we are preparing as hard as we did last week.

Roman Salanoa made his first Champions Cup start against the French giants and acquitted himself well as he continues to enjoy his best season with the province.

Ahead of the Treviso trip, the prop outlined the importance of an ever-improving skill set, namely ball handling with Munster adopting a more attacking approach this season.

“You have to be able to develop those skills to be able to play with the team so we have been working on ball in hand a lot, the hand eye co ordination, the catch pass, the basics really so we are more comfortable on the ball and making decisions. There is a lot of prep there for us so we have to take advantage, go to those extra sessions and hopefully it shows out on the weekend.”

Munster take on Benetton in Treviso this Saturday at 2.30pm in the URC.

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