Erasmus: 'Munster face Ospreys with new belief'

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Erasmus: 'Munster face Ospreys with new belief'

MUNSTER'S Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus says the province will take 'a lot of belief' from their impressive away win over Ulster into their upcoming fixtures, beginning with Friday's visit of Ospreys to Musgrave Park, 7.35pm.

Munster fought back from 14-0 down during the opening half to score a dramatic 15-14 victory over their Irish provincial rivals at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.

The result leaves Munster fourth in the Guinness Pro12 table, three points behind three sides, including their opponents on Friday night, the Ospreys.

“We will take a lot of belief out of that,” Erasmus said.

“We have to look at the way we played and I think that is a nice thing for me, for Rory Scannell to go for that drop goal, even if it was missed, it wasn't as if we were sitting back and hoping for things to happen, we are trying to make stuff happen and that is exactly what we are hoping to do.

“Even if it had been a loss, I would have been fairly happy with the performance.

“I think our fitness really showed in the second half after a six-day turnaround from the Glasgow game which we are proud of.

“We cannot just, all of a sudden, forget Axel (Anthony Foley). Him not being here is one thing, and we playing for him last week against Glasgow, but we decided the way we want to play is the way he tried to coach us. I think that showed again against Ulster. We want to continue that legacy Axel was trying to instil into the team. That is a nice part.”

Erasmus was also impressed by the the level of support Ulster had showed since the death of Anthony Foley.

“From the time of the funeral, Les Kiss and Rory Best were there, the way their supporters wanted to help us.

“As I said, for Irish people overall, I got so much respect the last two weeks, I always have respect for them, but I just could not believe the way people stand together here.

“From before the game to after the game it is always tough when you lose a game to come in, but they come in with a few protein shakes and beers afterwards into our team room and offer it to the guys, that takes special men to do that, so they obviously have a great spirit here.

“It is humbling to know this, it doesn't really happen in professional rugby much any more where guys come over to your changing room and share a beer with you. It's nice.”

Both Munster and the Ospreys have won five of their opening seven league fixtures. The Ospreys thumped the Dragons 35-17 in their weekend Pro12 outing at the Liberty Stadium.

Friday night game will be televised live on TG4.