Erasmus 'proud' of Munster display but return leg beckons 

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Erasmus 'proud' of Munster display but return leg beckons 

MUNSTER Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus said he was proud of how his charges at played in demolishing Leicester Tigers 38-0 at Thomond Park on Saturday afternoon.

Munster picked up a precious try bonus point to move top of Pool 1 after scoring an emphatic victory over the Aviva Premiership side.  

Leicester had scored a home and away double over Munster in the pool stages of the Champions Cup last season.

South African centre Jaco Taute bagged a brace of tries, with Simon Zebo touching down in the first half, while Munster were awarded a penalty try.

The two sides will meet at Welford Road on Saturday next, 3.15pm, in the second of their two back-to-back Pool 1 fixtures.

Erasmus said: "With the quality players in the Leicester side and them beating us last season home and away we were a bit nervous about the whole game and we never thought about getting five points out of it, our aim was always to win the game, so it is an absolute bonus to get the fourth try at the end.

"They are a team we respect so much. They have brilliant individuals, really well coached, so we are really happy with the performance, but I'm sure when we wake up tomorrow morning we know we have to go over there in a weeks' time. We won't get over carried away.

"It will be a tough challenge. We are under no illusions. Interesting things happen if you look at Glasgow going away to Racing 92 today and winning there. We will enjoy tonight and look realistically at how we played.

“I think we will be fairly happy with the intensity and the commitment, those kind of things. There were some tactical and some little technical errors.

"We needed a lot of intensity and commitment to win the game. 

Leicester Director of Rugby, Richard Cockerill insists the Tigers can reverse the result at Welford Road in the return fixture next Saturday.

"I am disappointed with the performance, full stop. There is no getting away from that. The reality is and it starts with me is that the performance was not acceptable. 38-0 is not where we want to be," Cockerill said.

"We have some important players missing, but that is no excuse for where the performance was tonight. The one good point is that we bring them to Welford Road next week.

“We have it all to do, we have to salvage some pride from where we were this evening because our two away games in this pool so far have been pretty disastrous for us.

"We can turn it around. We have to go back and deal with it on Monday. We have to be very honest with ourselves and make sure we win those physical or at least match them in the physical battles.

"Munster played exceptionally well, all credit to them, no issues on that, they were very good, good players well coached.

"They played very well and deserved the win. The one thing we have controlled very well over the past six weeks is the territory and field position and we didn't control it well tonight.