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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020
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Our problems are curable, says Kilcoyne

Munster prop Dave Kilcoyne believes the province have found the solutions to their problems.

Kilcoyne insists Munster can turn things around.
Kilcoyne insists Munster can turn things around.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Dave Kilcoyne insists Munster are on the right track, despite their dismal run of two wins from eight games.

With a Champions Cup exit likely to unfold on Sunday, Munster are counting the cost of those last quarter capitulations against Saracens and Racing 92, where they turned winning positions into defeats.

Two wins in eight matches is “not (acceptable), it isn’t good” according to Kilcoyne. “We need to find solutions now. We did that in the Tuesday review meeting, looking at areas we need to be better in. Closing out the game was the main discussion point. We really need to target a big performance this weekend.

“Without sounding clichéd, (Sunday’s game against Ospreys) really is one for the fans, we’ve got to show them just how much their support means to us and show them how hungry we are to play for the province.”

And yet, despite the scale of the disappointment, and the probability of a season without a Champions Cup quarter-final to look forward to, Kilcoyne is convinced Munster are on the right track, pointing to the coaching additions of Stephen Larkham, formerly with the Wallabies, and Graham Rowntree.

“Going forward, I think there have been a lot of really positive moods from Munster; Stephen Larkham coming in and Wig (Rowntree) have been two incredible signings.

“Steve has really developed our attack game. I was envious looking on at the lads playing when I was injured there with my calf, they were playing to width, looking for space, playing quite an expansive game plan, taking the sort of options we probably wouldn’t  have taken in the past.

 So, Steve has been incredible, I know the backs speak incredibly highly of him.”

And then there’s Rowntree, the former Leicester and England prop, who worked as forwards coach with England for eight years and was also part of Warren Gatland’s coaching ticket on the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour.

“Wig who has been an incredible signing,” Kilcoyne said.

“If you meet him here he is just a ball of energy, he lifts the place when he comes into a room, everyone just lifts around him; he is exactly what Munster needed.

“He is like a born and bred Munster man. He comes from that tough, old school kind of thing, and is incredibly positive and knowledgeable about the game. He has brought my game on hugely.

“He was happy with our scrum and maul and other areas of the game. The reason we lost (last Sunday to Racing) wasn’t down to our set-piece, more to the fact we fell off in the last 10 minutes. We can fix that.”

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