Van Graan focused solely on Munster despite Matt O’Connor comments

Johann van Graan couldn’t have asked for a much better European Champions Cup debut at the helm for Munster as his side decimated an underwhelming Leicester Tigers side at Thomond Park last weekend.

The South African saw his side dominate the game against the English Premiership side to reach pole position in Pool 4.

For Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor, it was a nightmare visit to Limerick. The Australian sparked controversy after the game by stating that Munster had played a ‘cynical’ game, something that van Graan isn’t going to take too much heed of.

I won’t pay too much attention to that. It’s a coach that I respect a lot and he’s been coaching at a very high level and he’s been very successful as a coach. Obviously, he’s got his reasons why he feels a certain way. I can only control what our team does and now that’s going back to zero, preparing well for Sunday and like I said before we play against quality opposition we’ll have to be at our best on Sunday to get a result there”

The new Munster boss is, however, concerned about his side’s discipline on the night, something that he hopes to address in the build up to the second clash with the Tigers on Sunday.

“I think we conceded too many penalties even on the weekend. We want to improve our discipline even more. The good thing is we only conceded four in the first half. I thought we adapted well at half time and put some pressure on their breakdown, I’m also pretty happy with the way we retained our ball. But this game is a game of inches and it’s about starting at zero today. Start off our planning again. We were also under threat in terms of some individuals. I thought Dan Cole from their side had a very good game at the breakdown and we’ve got to adapt accordingly and get our plans right”

Munster will be wary of their English counterparts this weekend, despite such a dominant display in their last outing. Last season the Thomond Park outfit had a similar result at home against Leicester in Europe and went on to lose out in a tight affair at Welford Road a week later.

“I actually watched the game on television last year. I remember it was a penalty in the last minute. This game is a game of inches and so was the game on Saturday evening so if that penalty misses everybody would have said Munster won back to back. It’s a total new game on Sunday evening. We’re playing against quality opposition in Leicester at Welford road. Some of the best players in Europe will be on display ad it will be a fascinating game between two top quality sides”

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Luke Liddy

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