Holland: 'No need for Munster to press panic button'

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Holland: 'No need for Munster to press panic button'

STAND-IN Munster captain Billy Holland insists the panic button is not being pressed within the squad despite their disappointing weekend defeat to Ospreys.

Munster’s third successive home defeat in the Guinness Pro12 has seen Anthony Foley’s charges slip to sixth place in the table, a significant seven points off the top four play-off places. 

Munster face a five day turnaround from Sunday’s home loss to Ospreys at Musgrave Park to this Friday night’s crucial clash with holders Glasgow Warriors at Rugby Park, 7.35pm (Live Sky Sports)

Billy Holland said: “We have a game in hand and plenty to go. No panic buttons have been pressed yet, but next Friday is huge in terms of keeping in touch with the top four and staying ahead of Glasgow and Ospreys who are still behind us. It’s hugely important.

“Glasgow put one over us in the Pro12 final last year and we want to get back into the top four again and to get there we need to get a result against them. We need to start getting results and not being close. We need to get over the line.”

Friday night’s game will be played on the artificial 4G surface at Rugby Park, home of Scottish Premiership side, Kilmarnock FC.

Holland, who has captained Munster in recent weeks with CJ Stander on 6 Nations duty with Ireland, insisted playing on the artificial surface was not an issue.

Holland said: “Look there’s plenty of teams have them (4G pitches). Cardiff, we’ve played them a few times over there. It’s probably a quicker more open game so we’ll probably train on 4G, we have 4G facilities ourselves at UL this week.

“It’s probably a slightly different bounce of the ball for the kickers and back three, but that’s something we’ve got to get our heads around.”

Munster report that try-scoring centre Francis Saili sustained a suspected concussion in the closing minutes of Sunday’s game with the Ospreys and will be assessed by the medical team for the next 24 hours before starting return to play protocols.

Meanwhile, utility back Denis Hurley  has now returned to full training following a calf injury and there was positive news also for Stephen Archer with the prop expected to progress to modified scrummaging this week.

Dave O’Callaghan, who sustained a rib injury in training last Friday, which forced him to withdraw late from the side to face Ospreys, will continue to be assessed by Munster medial staff this week.

Out-half Tyler Bleyendaal, quad, hooker Duncan Casey, pec, prop BJ Botha and back-row Peter O’Mahony, both knee, continue with their rehab programmes.