Munster face tough challenge even with home advantage against Toulouse

Munster face tough challenge even with home advantage against Toulouse
Jaco Taute of Munster in action against Zebre. Picture: Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile

Seán McCarthy

Rugby

JACO TAUTE watched on in admiration in 2014 as Munster disposed of Toulouse in Thomond Park at the same stage of the competition as they face this weekend, the Champions Cup quarter-final.

While he is looking forward to the occasion, he won’t be lulled into any false sense of security by the French side’s indifferent form this season and particularly their away form.

He agrees their away form has been iffy but says that he is expecting a really tough encounter.

“Yes but all their results have been very close but it’s going to be tough. I know they are lying in 10th in the table but I don’t think that takes away from the quality of the side.

“They are a side that takes this competition very seriously so they will be coming – it’s like playing against your best mate on Playstation – I get that feeling, the two teams will go hard at each other and they will be coming here to win definitely.” 

Trying to figure out what game plan they will bring to Limerick on Saturday makes them hard to analyse but not impossible says the Munster centre.

“It’s hard for all the French teams (to know what game plan they are going to use) but we’ve done some good analysing on them and we’ve done our research. 

"I think they’ll play a good brand of rugby and take their chances when it’s on and take their opportunities. 

"If we slack off in certain areas they will attack that. It is going to be a physical match in Thomond Park for the first 20 minutes and it will be brutal and we will have to stick to our guns but they will definitely come with a balanced game but more attacking.

“They will run it from everywhere so we will have to be prepared.” 

First-choice scrum half Conor Murray is a worry for Munster on Saturday but Taute has every confidence in Duncan Williams should he start at number nine.

“If Conor doesn’t pass his fitness test Duncan’s been good for us. 

"He has got a lot of game time under his belt and sometimes that’s the most important thing, being on the pitch and playing so if he has to take up the role he will be ready and we’ll be ready.

“We’ve been playing a lot with him so we’ll see. 

"We’ll trust in the medical team that Conor will be fine he loves Munster he’ll probably do anything to get on the pitch. 

"We’ll see how the week develops but we will be ready for anything.”

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