Erasmus pays tribute to the talent coming out of Munster's academy

Erasmus pays tribute to the talent coming out of Munster's academy
Munster's Darren Sweetnam. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

RAMPANT Munster claimed a bonus point win at Musgrave Park on Friday night with a six-try demolition of Benetton Rugby with man of the match Andrew Conway scoring a try that could be a contender for try of the season.

Darren Sweetnam, Tyler Bleyendaal, Jean Kleyn and Alex Wooton had the bonus point secured within half an hour with Mike Sherry adding the sixth try early in the second half.

The only blot on the win was a serious knee injury to centre Dan Goggin which saw Munster play out the final seven minutes with 14 men having used all of their subs.

With Dave Kilcoyne not available due to international player management and James Cronin still to return from injury, Cork’s Liam O’Connor got an extended run at loosehead last night and director of rugby Rassie Erasmus was happy with the young prop’s display.

“Liam O’Connor will grow there. James Cronin and Dave Kilcoyne are there and when those guys are fit it will always be tough for a guy like him to get game-time because they are international world class players. Tonight he showed, the Italians can always scrummage well, and his test will never be in the open-play because he is a natural footballer. Scrums were something that the question mark was there and it will be tested still during the season. 

"It was a good start for him and a long long run for him. He was on the field until the 70th minute. We are happy and we now know what we have in him.” 

Erasmus was impressed with how all his Munster Academy players played last night.

“Sean O’Connor and Brian Scott, all of the guys, I must just compliment the Irish overall. Their academy system, the fundamentals that they learn and the way they approach the academy where it isn’t necessarily a team playing but more developing players into a final product that you can use at this level. I definitely have to compliment the way David Nucifora and the guys plan that academy. 

"Obviously the Munster boys work really hard under Peter (Malone, Academy manager) with Darren (Sweetnam), you can take a player like that and you actually just have to work on his tactical stuff and your game-plan because the fundamentals he can do. And Sean (O’Connor) playing blindside for 50 minutes and then going to five, lock, and organising the line-outs. 

"And then Fineen Wycherley coming in for Jean Kleyn, same story. It’s testament for the system and especially the way the Munster boys do it.”

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