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Casey: ‘It is about time we brought a trophy back here’

Player of the match Craig Casey has backed his Munster team-mates to end the province’s 10-year trophy drought.

Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

CRAIG CASEY HAS backed the new-improved Munster to achieve what his predecessors over the past decade have failed to do – and land some silverware.

After an impressive 42-17 win over South Africa’s Sharks in the opening game of this season’s URC, Casey was awarded the player of the match award.

“It is incredible to be back playing in front of fans again,” said Casey in an interview with RTE. “We missed them loads.

“I had goosebumps when we did the half lap in the warm up. Then when RG (Snyman) came on off the bench, the noise was unreal.

“He has been to hell and back in the last 13 months. It is great to have him back.”

“We are striving for trophies this season; it is about time we brought a trophy home here. These fans deserve it”

Munster captain, Peter O’Mahony, echoed Casey’s sentiments: “The atmosphere is something we have longed for; we had a long time with no one here, it is a sad old place without fans in the stadium.”

O’Mahony believes the Caseys and Coombes’ will be the players to end Munster’s famine. “The age group in our squad has evolved,” he said. “The young players drive things. They provide the hunger. It comes from the younger age group; the academy boys are very special too. We have got off to a good start with tonight’s win; everyone is happy but there is a long way to go.”

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For coach, Johann van Graan, the returning fans were as big a bonus as the additional point that was guaranteed once Gavin Coombes crossed for his second try. “It was great to be in front of our fans, that’s the brilliant thing about today,” said van Graan. “It was incredible to play rugby in front of our fans again. That’s the one thing we said, we miss them very much.

“From a rugby point of view, the five points we got was a real positive. I think our accuracy (needs to improve). A lot of guys played their first game. We created some brilliant opportunities. We gave them that intercept try. We will go and review it but this was a very positive experience today because rugby is about special moments.

“Having the crowd here was special. I was so glad for Zeebs and was so glad for RG (Snyman) to get to play again after being out for so long. He was really excited when he got named in the squad earlier in the week. He will get fitter on the back of that; he has a long way to go in terms of building up minutes. He was so excited inside the dressing room that he got seven minutes.”

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Garry Doyle

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