Monday 18 February 2019

O'Mahony: you can't be driving it if you're not doing it

Adam Byrne of Leinster (right) in action against Peter O’Mahony. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Adam Byrne of Leinster (right) in action against Peter O’Mahony. Photo: SPORTSFILE

The essence of Peter O'Mahony's leadership comes from looking in the mirror before he looks at anyone else.

Munster will have to find a remedy for the failure to deal with Leinster by the time they board the plane to Castres for next Sunday (KO 1.0, Irish time).

It all begins with the most basic element.

"Discipline is a big thing for me," he said. "I gave away certainly one, if not two. You can't be driving it if you're not doing it yourself.

"Look, we've got to have a look at ourselves discipline-wise. That's something that's easily fixed. That's the good thing about it."

The Munster captain rightly took exception to former Leinster captain Reggie Corrigan's post-match suggestion that they were out-battled at The Aviva.

"The intensity is always incredible. Collisions are always that step up," he said.

"It certainly isn't, you know, there were people talking about a training fixture. It's far from it."

He was quick to point to Castres' recent win over Clermont-Auvergne to warn of the storm brewing up in the South of France. They will have to go to the trenches and stay there for long stretches.

"French teams of that calibre, it's a big, big test," he noted.

Huge amount

"It takes a huge amount of heart and skill levels, accuracy and it's all got to fall into place to get a win in France.

"It's a difficult thing to do."

Munster's front row gave Jack McGrath, James Tracy and Tadhg Furlong something to think about at scrum time.

They must have physical presence in their engine room, not a makeshift unit made up of Billy Holland, a versatile back five forward, and Robin Copeland, a number eight at heart.

This is where the availability of Jean Kleyn will be crucial in withstanding what Castres will throw at them.

"There's a chance he'll be back," said Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus. "Like Darren O'Shea, Dave O'Callaghan and Gerbrandt Grobler. We miss all of them."

Then, there is the rib of Simon Zebo, the Irish international still in the reckoning as long as he can train this week.

There is a worry that Erasmus has too many moving parts in his back division.

The steadying influence of Jaco Taute has been lost from the midfield, although the impact of Chris Farrell and the excellence of Andrew Conway and Keith Earls means it is not all bad news.

However, the decision to play Tyler Bleyendaal, nicknamed 'The General' for his game knowledge, at centre and withhold the place kicking duties is an ominous sign.

Munster will need their best players and all the points on offer.

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