Inter-pro: Penney looking forward to another 'beautiful' derby

“Brutal, big, robust, tough, physical, clinical” Ulster return to Thomond Park this weekend, the scene of their most famous win in 2012.

Penney shoots the breeze with Ian keatley.
Penney shoots the breeze with Ian keatley.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Rob Penney says he is looking forward to facing a stern examination from Ulster this weekend as the RaboDirect Pro12 moves into the second half of its season.

The southern province go into Saturday’s home fixture buoyed by their pre-Christmas victory in Galway.

Ulster however, still sitting proudly at the league’s summit with an unblemished record of 11 wins, will promise a different kind of challenge. And Mark Anscombe will bring a side confident of repeating their performance from April’s Heineken Cup quarter final.

“The Ulster guys are going really well, so it will be a real benchmark for us, given that they are so far in front and playing some really good, tough rugby.” Penney told


The latest of Ulster’s impressive run of wins came just a week after their first loss of the season, but the manner in which they held off Leinster appeared to confirm to Penney how good the northern province were.

“These local derbies are fantastic. I saw them (Ulster) on Friday. Brutal, big, robust, tough, physical, clinical. All the clichés and superlatives you’re probably used to hearing about them every week.

“The way they dismantled the Leinster scrum and put them under real pressure – and at times at line-out maul drives – they brutalised Leinster.

“They’ll be very difficult.” he continued. “ To come away having beaten Leinster will boost their confidence even more coming to Thomond Park, not that they needed a boost.”

After calling for Munster fans to don their ‘party hats’ and show their support in Thomond Park, Penney (asked if he was looking forward to the occasion) said simply:

“Bring it on — It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

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Sean Farrell

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