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Munster’s Coughlan seeks hat-tricks of wins

Munster's James Coughlan does not believe the losing bonus point Saracens picked up on Saturday at Thomond Park will prove decisive in deciding the winners of Pool 1 of the Heineken Cup

Munster's James Coughlan does not believe the losing bonus point Saracens picked up on Saturday at Thomond Park will prove decisive in deciding the winners of Pool 1 of the Heineken Cup

MAN of the Match, James Coughlan does not believe the losing bonus point Saracens secured late on in Saturday’s clash with Munster will prove significant in deciding which team finishes top of Pool 1.

Coughlan stressed that victories for Munster in their three remaining pool fixtures, beginning with Sunday’s clash with Sarries at Vicarage Road (3pm), will see the province secure another quarter-final spot.

Coughlan said: “I don’t think the fact they picked up a losing bonus point is a big issue, to be honest. We have to win every game. If we do, we will top the group. That was always going to be the case. It was 4-1 tonight in terms of points and we will hope it’s 8-2 at the end of these games. That is the way we have to look at it.

“We shot ourselves a small bit in the foot when losing away to Racing (Metro). That meant we have to win every game. I don’t think anyone else bar ourselves the year of the Miracle Match have lost two pool matches and got through. That is our target, our goal.”

Coughlan, who celebrated his 33rd birthday yesterday, agreed that Munster needed to be more accurate and controlled with ball in hand.

“These are always physical contests, an English team coming to Thomond Park in the Heineken Cup,” the number eight said.

“There is something special about it. We wanted to set down our marker physically early. I think we achieved that.

“I think our accuracy went out the window as a result. We are going to have to be a bit more controlled in what we are doing because we left a fair amount of points behind us.

“We are disappointing with the penalty count, but that is our own responsibility no doubt. I have no doubt the vast majority of them were penalties. That is something we have to look at.”

 

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