Foley satisfied with win

Published: Saturday 25th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Munster head coach Anthony Foley described his side’s 14-3 win over Saracens at Thomond Park as ‘satisfying’ but admits the Pool 1 leaders have a lot of work to do to reach the quarter-finals of the inaugural European Champions Cup.

A 60th minute try from replacement prop Dave Kilcoyne proved key in Munster making it two pool wins from two against the Aviva Premiership high flyers in an absorbing, teak-tough contest where defences dominated. Ian Keatley contributed two penalties and a drop goal.

Sarries, whose only points came from an Owen Farrell first-half penalty, were down to 14 men at that stage with the sin-binning of their replacement prop Rhys Gill.

“We are in a good position, but that is all it is,” admitted Foley. “We have eight points. We have Clermont back-to-back in a few weeks’ time, but we have a lot of work to do between now and then. We have 11 guys away on international camp with Ireland from Tuesday on.

“I think this is a satisfying result for us. It is on the back of 13 incredible days of work and the boys turned up for work every day. It is great to be part of that.”

Foley said he could not figure out how Munster winger Andrew Conway had a try disallowed by TMO Eric Gauzins shortly before Kilcoyne struck for the game’s only five-pointer.

“For us to take that blow and then go straight back down and score directly off that lineout says something about the character which is in the team.

“There were times when Saracens were on top of us which you would expect. I thought we withstood that. They are a very good side. They have a lot of pedigree and it was great for us to do what we did today against them, stick to our task, make sure we didn’t flinch first. Any ball that was on the ground, I thought we won it.”

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall, while disappointed not to take a losing bonus point from the game, believes the pool remains wide open.

“I think you want to come away with something from the game. I don’t think we were overwhelmed by the occasion or anything of that nature,” said the former Ireland international.

“We had a couple of half decent chances near the end, somebody made a break with five minutes to go. Unfortunately we made an error. That was the story of our night, too many set piece errors, too many aerial errors, too many errors in general.

“I think the pool is wide open. We would have, as a minimum, wanted to take five points from our first two games. You have the win the first one and come away with a losing bonus from the second.

“The fact we scored four tries and got a bonus last weekend against Clermont was a big bonus. We now have Sale back-to-back and it is important we get as many points as we can from those two games (in December).”

Published: Saturday 25th October 2014 by The News Editor

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