Munster's Peter O'Mahony insists Saracens remain the 'standard setters'

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Munster's Peter O'Mahony insists Saracens remain the 'standard setters'

Munster captain Peter O'Mahony

MUNSTER captain Peter O'Mahony says Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup opponents Saracens remain the 'standard setters of the competition' and expects an 'immaculate performance' from them in Thomond Park this weekend.

A 35-point deduction and stg£5.36m fine was imposed on Saracens by the English Premiership in their domestic league for breaches of the league’s salary cap.

However, O'Mahony does not believe those issues will have a detrimental impact on the Heineken Champions Cup holders this weekend.

"I’ve been lucky enough to play with some of their players and I know how focused they are on the game,” Peter O’Mahony said.

"I don’t know how much of an effect it would have on them as actual players.

"I think they’ll all know they need to play well for their team, that would be their main focus and getting as many points in whatever competition. I don’t know, is the honest answer.

"They’re incredibly professional and the standard setters of this competition. They’re going to be as professional and, as they always turn out, we’re expecting an immaculate performance at the weekend."

Having drawn their opening home pool fixture against Racing 92, O'Mahony appreciates just how important it is for Munster to record a win this weekend if the two-time winners are to advance to the knock-out stages of the competition once more. 

"We've been here before, as soon as you drop points it's backs-against-the-wall stuff a little bit," O'Mahony said.

"That's how important your home games are and, again, it's cup rugby from early in the season. They're games you need to be picking up points in for both sides.

"It has to bring out the best in teams because you have a huge amount of fear. You have fear of losing in Thomond Park, for one, and the bigger scheme of things is obviously Europe. We love playing in this competition and we love competing in it so it's a huge drive for us to be in it but it's a huge factor to be out of it. So that's a huge drive, yeah."