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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 4 June, 2020

Discipline a hot topic for Munster after 10 penalties in 14 minutes

‘If we give away cheap penalties like we did at the weekend we won’t stand a chance,’ says Dave Kilcoyne ahead of a clash with Glasgow this weekend.

Kilcoyne, right, and Arno Botha try to prevent Ben Morgan grounding his late try.
Kilcoyne, right, and Arno Botha try to prevent Ben Morgan grounding his late try.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

MUNSTER PROP DAVE Kilcoyne has called on his teammates to improve their discipline after they conceded 10 penalties in the last 14 minutes of their Champions Cup win over Gloucester.

Kilcoyne came off the bench in the bonus-point victory and admits he was guilty of conceding a needless offside penalty – one of 17 Munster conceded in the match – but the team has been forewarned of repeat offences against Glasgow Warriors this Saturday.

“We have been really trying to build a consistency of performance, not this up-down, good one week, poor the next. So discipline was one of our targets going into the game and it just going sloppy towards the end of the game,” admitted Kilcoyne.

“I don’t think it had to happen. They were down to 14 men, we probably should have put them to the sword a bit more and through our lack of discipline we let them back into it and they did well I thought in the second half.

“If we don’t tighten it up can sting us down the line, but it is something we are really trying to address. Unfortunately, over the past two weeks our penalty count was higher than we wanted it to be.

“Glasgow are top of our conference. We see their away form has been very good, beating Connacht away and Cheetahs away, so unless we fix our discipline we will be in for a very tough game on Saturday.

It is going to be an extremely tough encounter anyway with their form, but if we give away cheap penalties like we did at the weekend we won’t stand a chance against them.”

There is no hiding the fact that both side have not been fond of each other in recent seasons, and Kilcoyne is expecting another fiery encounter with Glasgow this Saturday at Thomond Park.

Much of the animosity has stemmed from Munster’s perception that Glasgow have frequently targeted their scrum-half, and the Ireland prop expects a physical and lively test from the former champions, who bossed the encounter between the teams in round two of the competition.

“There is definitely niggle between us and Glasgow. There is no point in us denying that, but I think it is respected and earned through both teams.

“We have had a lot of hard games over the last couple of years and they definitely don’t fear coming to Thomond Park, so we are really in for a tough game on Saturday.

“I think it is well accepted that it is a fiery occasion because of how good they have been playing, both in attack and defence, they have probably been the in-form team in the PRO14. And you look at their European again they got a bonus point against Cardiff at the weekend so they are coming in with loads of confidence.

Dave Kilcoyne Kilcoyne in the gym this week. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“We started poorly against them last time and we can’t afford to start like that against any team, especially Glasgow at Thomond Park.

“They are definitely going to target a good start again. We really need to tighten our discipline and respect that Glasgow are coming over here to take a big scalp and equally we will be trying to do our best to stop that.”

Like all of his Irish teammates Kilcoyne will be anxiously looking for an IRFU email this morning to discover if he has been included in the November Test squad, but on current form he must be close to a first cap since this time last year against Argentina.

“I would never take myself as a permanent fixture on an Irish squad. If you look at the competition right across all the provinces for every position.

“You have front rows here, me, James (Cronin), then you look at Jack (McGrath), Cian (Healy) at Leinster, then Denis (Buckley), Pete McCabe, I could keep naming them all.

“So I wouldn’t take anything for granted. I am just trying to play as best I can in the minutes I am given with Munster, to put my best foot forward for that.”

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Declan Rooney

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