Munster forward coach Graham Rowntree wants his side to travel to South Africa tomorrow with a win against the Dragons.
Despite the Welsh side winning just once all season, he has warned the Reds to keep that task under wraps. He expects the Newport men to continue their kicking game and he needs to get his side excited for the challenge before they head off to the rescheduled games against the Bulls and the Lions.
It has been 18 years since the Dragons first won at Thomond Park when they triumphed on their first visit, while Munster are aiming to extend their winning streak to nine games since losing to Connacht in last May’s Rainbow Cup.
“They kick the ball well, they kick the ball a lot,” Rowntree said. “They have one of the highest kicking rates in Europe so we have to be careful and what that means for us.
“She have a very good formation by competing teams. They have a good breakdown and some good ball carriers. You are well trained.
“And as for their staff, they’re going to bring some people back from Wales, much like us. But they will be extremely competitive and they showed that this year.”
Head coach Johann van Graan has made four changes to the side that beat Edinburgh 34-20 two weeks ago. Two are at the back, Shane Daly coming on the right wing in place of Calvin Nash, who he replaced late in the game, while Jack Crowley gets the outside-half nod with Ben Healy on the bench. Crowley will partner Craig Casey, who was released from the Ireland squad this weekwith Gavin Coombes also back at No. 8 in Munster.
At the front, John Ryan starts at Tighthead in place of Stephen Archer, while Josh Wycherley makes his first start of the season at Loosehead, with his older brother Fineen on the second row. Rowntree said Munster trained hard after the Edinburgh game and enjoyed the weekend off before the restart. with the squad on the way to South Africa for the refixed games against the Bulls and the Lions.
“The boys had a long weekend but we trained them hard last week. We know what we have to achieve in the week to get the boys fit. We trained them hard early last week and then they had a long weekend and we’re ready for this week,” Rowntree added.
Three of the Dragons’ seven losses this season were two points or less, and their only win came in Ireland when they defeated Connacht 35-22 in October.
Muenster- m Haley; S Daly, C Farrell, D Goggin, S Zebo; J Crowley, C Casey; J Wycherley, D Barron, J Ryan; J Kleyn, F Wycherley; J O’Donoghue, C Cloete, G Coombes. Substitutes: N Scannell, J Loughman, S Archer, A Kendellen, J Hodnett, N Cronin, B Healy, R Scannell.
Dragons—J Williams; W Talbot-Davies, J Dixon, A Owen, R Dyer; S Davies, R Williams; G Bateman, T Davies, C Coleman; J. Davies, J. Maksymiw; H Keddie, O Griffiths, a Wainwright. Substitutes: E Shipp, A Seiuli, M Doge, H Taylor, B Fry, D Baker, L Jones, J Lewis.
Munster vs Dragon,
Live, TG4, 5.15
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/pro14/graham-rowntree-fully-focused-on-dragons-match-before-south-africa-trip-41413953.html Before his trip to South Africa, Graham Rowntree was fully focused on the Dragons game