MUNSTER head coach Rob Penney believes his side must become more ruthless in retaining possession and building pressure.
Munster face their final pre-season friendly against London Irish at Musgrave Park this Friday (7pm) before commencing their RaboDirect PRO 12 campaign away to Edinburgh on September 1.
Penney believes his side showed signs of progress in last Friday night’s victory over Bristol in Cork.
New Zealander Penney said: “There’s some good growth in the areas that we’re building, but there’s still a lot to do.
“We have to get more ruthless about our ability to retain ball and build pressure, but it’s early days,”
Penney had made five changes to his starting line-up for the game with ‘the Exiles’ this Friday, while Munster ‘A’ team head coach Ian Costello has also named his side for a pre-season friendly against Connacht ‘A’ this Thursday.
In the senior side, Johne Murphy is named in the backline in place of Luke O’Dea, while Wian du Preez, BJ Botha, Dave O’Callaghan and James Coughlan all start in the pack, with Stephen Archer, Tommy O’Donnell, Paddy Butler and O’Dea named on an extended bench.
Dave Kilcoyne joins the Munster A’s where Ian Costello has named a side that includes a mixture of senior, academy and club players to take on Connacht A at the Sportsground tomorrow at 3pm.
Luke O’Dea, Sean Scanlon and Philip Donnellan are in from the start against Connacht ‘A’ and have also been named on the bench for the friendly with London Irish a little over 24 hours later.
Meanwhile, on the club front, the traditional season-opening Limerick Charity Cup begins this Thursday, night when holders Young Munster host Old Crescent at Tom Clifford Park at 7pm in the first of the quarter-finals.
The three remaining quarter-finals are due to be played on Saturday afternoon. Shannon host Thomond at Coonagh at 2.30pm. Bruff will entertain UL-Bohemian at Kilballyowen Park at the same time, while Garryowen host Nenagh Ormond at Dooradoyle also at 2.30pm.
MUNSTER v LONDON IRISH - Denis Hurley; Doug Howlett capt, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Johne Murphy; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Wian du Preez, Damien Varley, BJ Botha; Dave Foley, Billy Holland; Dave O’Callaghan, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan. Replacements: Marcus Horan, Sean Henry, Stephen Archer, Philip Donnellan, Tommy O’Donnell, Paddy Butler, Peter Stringer, Scott Deasy, Sean Scanlon, Luke O’Dea.
Munster A v Connacht ‘a’ - Luke O’Dea; Ronan O’Mahony, Ivan Dineen, Sean Scanlon, AN Other; JJ Hanrahan, Gerry Hurley (Cork Con); Dave Kilcoyne, Duncan Casey, John Ryan; Philip Donnellan, Darren O’Shea (Dolphin); Brian Hayes, Barry O’Mahony, Shane Buckley. Replacements: James Cronin, Ger Slattery (Young Munster), Christy Condon, Ed Kelly (UL Bohs), Sean Rennison (UL Bohs), Neil Cronin (Garryowen), Johnny Holland, Corey Hircock, Cian Bohane, Richie Mullane (Shannon).