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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 23 October, 2018

Munster a 'French-style team' says Racing star Nyanga ahead of crunch clash

The hosts need a big win in Paris this weekend.

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony and Racing 92’s Yannick Nyanga in Thomond Park last October.
Munster’s Peter O’Mahony and Racing 92’s Yannick Nyanga in Thomond Park last October.
Image: Inpho/Billy Stickland

RACING 92 FLANKER Yannick Nyanga has said that Sunday’s Champions Cup showdown with a “French-style” Munster side is their most important match of the season.

The 2016 runners-up trail Munster by four points in Pool 4 and need to win in Paris in order to maintain hope of reaching the knockout stage.

“They’re a bit like a French-style, Top-14 style team, that’s to say that they really like everything to do with lineouts, scrums, ball carrying, occupying territory and the kicking game,” the France international told Rugbyrama.

“I can’t say what type of game it will be on Sunday but on the other hand I do know that we have to be ready to play every kind of rugby – open or closed. Our only real goal is to remain in a position to qualify by the end of the match.”

Nyanga said he likes playing Munster because against a team of such quality there is no extra motivation required. The Irish province won the first meeting of the sides 14-7 at Thomond Park in October but Nyanga feels that Racing were unlucky on the day.

“We were lacking little details to hope for better because we played a super match over there,” he said. “We had the impression of being on top up front but we weren’t able to cash in with our backs because of the weather conditions, which were catastrophic.

“It was impossible to hit the ball more than 10 metres or to make long passes because of the wind. The conditions will obviously be completely different on Sunday.”

Giant forward Leone Nakarawa will be in the Racing starting line-up at the U Arena along with ex-Munster man Donnacha Ryan. The Fijian, who scored Racing’s try in the last meeting of the sides, is using his previous success against the visitors as an inspiration. The 29-year-old was part of the Glasgow Warriors team that beat Munster 31-13 in the 2015 Pro 12 Grand Final.

“Munster are among the best teams in Europe but they are not invincible,” he told Midi Olympique.

“My best memory as a rugby player is from 2015, the day we beat them in the final of the Pro 12 with Glasgow.

“I scored two tries that day but we didn’t win because of that… it was first of all because we matched them in contact.

“They love physical confrontation… but if they lose out in that area they become human again. We shouldn’t be afraid to face them.”

Racing 92: Louis Dupichot; Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa, Henry Chavancy, Marc Andreu; Rémi Tales, Maxime Machenaud (c); Eddy Ben Arous, Camille Chat, Ben Tameifuna, Donnacha Ryan, Edwin Maka, Yannick Nyanga, Wenceslas Lauret, Leone Nakarawa

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Vasil Kakovin, Cedate Gomes Sa, Baptiste Chouzenoux, Boris Palu, Xavier Chauveau, Benjamin Dambielle, Joe Rokocoko

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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Mark Rodden

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