Penney happy Munster’s European fate remains in their own hands

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Donnacha Ryan is likely to miss Munster's away Heineken Cup clash with Perpignan as well as Sunday's home game at Thomond Park through a knee injury
MUNSTER head coach Rob Penney is happy his side remains ‘masters of our own destiny’ ahead of their crucial back-to-back Heineken Cup pool fixtures with Perpignan.

MUNSTER head coach Rob Penney is happy his side remains ‘masters of our own destiny’ ahead of their crucial back-to-back Heineken Cup pool fixtures with Perpignan.

Penney’s Munster host Top 14 side Perpignan at Thomond Park this Sunday, 12.45pm, in a make-or-break European tie. Munster currently lie second in Pool 6, one point adrift of their French opponents.

Penney said: “We’re masters of our own destiny, we could have been better so far but it could have been worse and we’re still in the hunt.

“Perpignan on their day are a very tough side and they have a massive team but we need to get the points at home.

“They are dangerous from any broken play situation, they are a great continuity, off-loading team.

“They play with a lot of width and they’ve got some exceptional pace and finishing power out in their backline.

“Our ability to manage the game well and keep the ball away from them is going to be critical.”

Penney is pleased with the progress Donnacha Ryan is making from his knee injury, but conceded he will almost certainly miss the away leg against Perpignan too.

”He’s making great progress but I think he’s still a couple of weeks away,” Penney said.

It’s highly unlikely he will play away to Perpignan, we haven’t closed the door fully on that but it’s highly unlikely.”

Munster have enjoyed a five-game winning run since their shock opening day Heineken Cup defeat to Edinburgh, including a crucial home win over Gloucester in the Heineken Cup.

Penney said: “At times we’re still not playing that well, but we’re getting results and they’re by no means masking the frailties in our game.

“We’re working hard as a group to try to rectify those (frailties) and be more competent in every area of the game.

“We’re there or thereabouts, we’ve been a bit more tenacious at times this year which has been really pleasing and there’s been a real resolve at times.

“We’re taking it one step at a time, we’re just focusing on our performance on Sunday at Thomond Park and on the back of that hopefully get the result.”