Saturday 22 October 2016

O'Donnell is wary

O'Connell & Wyn Jones all set to battle it out again

It is a fact of rugby life.

Sometimes you have to suck it up and accept you can't be there when it matters most.

So it is for Munster flanker Tommy O'Donnell ahead of Munster's PRO12 League semi-final at Thomond Park on Saturday.

"It is very disappointing having done so well all season to avoid injury and keep my form going, looking at this few weeks and what potentially could be there for us.

"I have to trust in the lads that they will get the job done," he said, a strained hamstring taking him out of the argument.

The Ospreys will come to Thomond armed with the self-confidence to tear apart the once impenetrable fortress.

Heck, they did it to Leinster against the odds at The RDS in 2010 and 2012 either side of Munster's domination of Leinster in the 2011 climax.

Munster and The Ospreys always bring together two giants of the game, Ireland's Player of the Year Paul O'Connell and Wales leader Alun Wyn Jones.

"They are two great, great rugby players, two very intelligent men," he reviewed.

"They know all facets of the game and are well able to talk to referees, well able to muster the troops when they have to.

"It has always been a good battle when the two of them go up against each other.

"I expect to see one this week."

The PRO12 Team of the Year included The Ospreys half-back pair of Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar with Webb also claiming the Players' Player of the Year.

"Rhys is in the form of his life, scoring tries for fun. Attached to that is a solid set-piece and a very good counter attack.

"They are a powerful pair, playing very well together," he warned.

"It is a pity not to be lining out against them. We will do our home work, be nailed on for when they decide to come down a channel or snipe. We will be ready for them."

The fireworks will surely shoot high into the Limerick sky as Munster aim for their first trophy in four years and The Ospreys look to gain reward for their turn towards a new identity based on a more workmanlike attitude.

"They are a quality side, very good with ball in hand, very good at attacking. They are constantly on each others' shoulders popping up for tries.

"There is no surprise they are in the semi-finals. We are going to have to be at our best to beat them.

"We are going to have to be solid in defence and working together for the whole day to keep them out."


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