Munster injury headache ahead of key Heineken Cup clash

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Munster head coach Rob Penney
FALTERING Munster are sweating on the fitness of Ireland Lions wing Simon Zebo ahead of their make-or-break round two Heineken Cup clash with Gloucester at Thomond Park this Saturday (6pm).

FALTERING Munster are sweating on the fitness of Ireland Lions wing Simon Zebo ahead of their make-or-break round two Heineken Cup clash with Gloucester at Thomond Park this Saturday (6pm).

Zebo was forced off in the closing stages of Saturday’s shock defeat to Edinburgh at Murrayfield with a leg injury and after leaving the match venue with his right foot in a ‘moon boot’, the winger remains a doubt for this weekend’s crucial clash.

And there was further bad news for Munster when Paddy Butler was ruled out for up to ten weeks after fracturing his thumb in Saturday’s loss.

The Munster players and management team must pick themselves up from their shattering 29-23 Murrayfield defeat in time to face a Gloucester side sure to be brimming with confidence following their dramatic come-from-behind victory over Perpignan at Kingsholm. Perpignan’s former Munster centre Lifeimi Mafi was red-carded in that game for a dangerous tackle.

Munster coach Rob Penney said: “We got embarrassed by a number of errors and I think it was on the back of a general malaise - a bit of flatness in the group for some reason.”We’ll be looking at what we did all week in terms of mental preparation to see if there was something amiss there. We may have got a bit ahead of ourselves.”We are ruing some poor mental preparation, I would suspect, because you don’t change from one week to the next physically in any way. I don’t think our mental application was where Edinburgh were - that was self-evident.”

James Coughlan, who took a knock to his left forearm, had an x-ray this morning which was clear, but he will be monitored as the week progresses.