MOTM against Connacht Conor Oliver
MUNSTER'S highly rated flanker Conor Oliver had the kind of comeback from injury he could only have dreamed about in Saturday night’s Guinness Pro14 interprovincial derby clash with Connacht.
Twenty two-year-old Oliver was awarded the Man of the Match accolade in an impressive comeback from long-term injury.
Garryowen clubman Oliver suffered a shoulder injury in pre-season. Saturday night’s game was former Irish U-20 international Oliver’s first start for Munster since their May 2017 victory over Connacht at Thomond Park.
Oliver said: “It is great to be back. Obviously I had a big injury in pre-season, so I have been working hard over the past four or five months to get back on the pitch.
”It was tough going. I was blowing after the first half, but I am delighted to be back.
”The S & C (strength and conditioning) guys put in a lot of work with me over the past few months. I think I was more than prepared to go out and play the full 80 minutes tonight.
“We were very disappointed with the two previous games obviously. We were still hurting from those two losses, but we tried to move on, put those losses behind us at the start of this week and it was about the next game and trying to get the win tonight.”
Oliver agreed that Saturday night’s win was a boost to the squad ahead of crucial Champions Cup pool fixtures.
“A win is great for the squad, obviously great for confidence going into training next week.
”We have two big European Cup games coming up. With guys coming back from injury, they will be pushing lads too, it is great to have more of the squad available after injury.”
Munster head coach Johann van Graan described Oliver’s display as ‘exceptional.’ Van Graan said: “I’m very pleased for him to come back after that injury and play 80 minutes.”