Jack O’Donoghue – “We’re not going to be playing Joué rugby but when it’s on, it’s on and to have the confidence to throw that pass is what’s going to help us in the season.”
Flanker Jack O’Donoghue has embraced the new attacking element that Munster have shown in their first two Guinness PRO 14 encounters this season.
Rassie Erasmus’ side have brushed aside Benetton and the Cheetahs respectively as they began the campaign with 10 points from 10, gaining 923 metres from 48 carries and completing 24 offloads.
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) September 9, 2017
A more dynamic attacking game is something that has been worked on throughout the preseason as Munster’s coaching ticket looked to improve upon where they had fallen short in their last campaign.
Waterford native, O’Donoghue acknowledges that there has been an improvement on the attacking side of the ball but isn’t getting carried away, just yet.
“We did work hard on it in the preseason, Felix (Jones) brought it in. It’s something that we can bring to the game and it’s working for us at the moment. Obviously, we’re not going to be playing Joué rugby but when it’s on, it’s on and to have the confidence to throw that pass is what’s going to help us in the season.”
The back row says that this new evolution of play was not something that came naturally at the beginning of preseason and admits that his side proceed with caution, but he is confident that it’s something that will improve as the season goes on.
“It was a frustrating enough few sessions where there was dropped balls and stuff but it comes in games and it starts to click and creates some nice rugby to watch.”
“It’s new to us but it’s coming. If you can lock eyes with your support player and if you see it clear to give it, give it but some of those blind passes might not be on. We’re playing it safe at the moment but it will come as the season comes on.”
23-year-old, O’Donoghue’s skill-set is suited to a more dynamic attacking style and he’s content with playing a more expansive game.
“I always found that I was a ball playing back row. I still hit rucks and cleanouts and stuff but I’m happy enough that it came in, it suits my style of play.”
O’Donoghue and his teammates now turn their attention to a tough encounter with the Ospreys as they take to the road for the first time this season. The Munster academy graduate is expecting his side to be put to the test at the Liberty Stadium.
“You go back to when we played over there in the Liberty last season, it was such a physical and tough encounter. We really had to dig deep in the last few minutes to come away with the win. They’re really going to put our skill-set under pressure and it’s going to be an exciting test.”