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Captain O'Mahony happy with Munster's 'mature' display in Paris

The blindside flanker was part of an excellent performance from Munster’s pack.

Murray Kinsella reports from Stade Yves du Manoir

WHILE RACING 92 were missing some of their frontline forwards, Munster must have taken deep satisfaction from outmuscling the French side’s pack in Paris this evening.

Donnacha Ryan ran a lineout that won 12 out of 13 on their own throw, while the scrum was also at the 90% mark and won a couple of crucial penalties into the mix. Maul-wise, Munster were dominant, while their ruck work was a joy to watch once again.

A minutes silence is held before the game Munster huddle up during a minute's applause for Axel. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

In the halfbacks, Conor Murray oozed his class, while Tyler Bleyendaal controlled their game plan well, aside from one skewed kick straight into touch. The back three were always capable of creating something, while Rory Scannell unsurprisingly shone alongside Jaco Taute.

While Racing were dismal and should be embarrassed to lose on a 32-7 scoreline at home, this was another highly encouraging showing from Munster.

Given that they were returning to Paris almost 12 weeks after the death of Anthony Foley here, with all that emotional baggage, it was even more impressive that Munster were so efficient in notching this bonus-point win.

“It was tough to be back,” said captain Peter O’Mahony after his side’s convincing victory.

It was a big week for the club for many reasons and I thought it was quite a mature performance for a side for their first time being over here as a group. The performance was mature so I was happy with the lads.”

While Racing find themselves in the midst of a disappointing season so far – they have zero match points from four Champions Cup games and now lie ninth in the Top 14 – it’s worth remembering that they are the reigning champions of France and reached the final of Europe last season.

Even with key players taken out of the Racing equation this evening, it’s a win that Munster will draw belief from.

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“To come away to France against a side with the quality that Racing have and put in a performance like that, you have to take a huge amount of confidence from it,” said O’Mahony.

Peter O'Mahony after the match O'Mahony was central in a superb pack effort. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

The Munster skipper was particularly pleased that his side started much the stronger. Although they led only 3-0 at the quarter mark, the opening stanza had seen them dominate possession and territory to heavily pressurise Racing.

“It’s a very tough place to come and play. We knew that if we let them exert their game plan on us in the first 20 minutes that it would get the crowd into the game and it’s tough to get back in. I think the way we started was the most pleasing thing.”

Munster sit top of Pool 1 as a result of this bonus-point win, three match points ahead of Glasgow. The trip to Scotstoun to take on the Warriors next Saturday now looks even more appetising.

Munster are well positioned to go on and secure a home quarter-final in this competition, but O’Mahony and his team-mates will be keeping their feet on the ground.

“We’ve put ourselves in a decent position,” said the Ireland international.

“You know, as we do, that in this competition it’s week by week and anything can happen. We’ve got to recover now, put in a big week’s training and we have a massive test against an extremely good Glasgow side. It’s a big week.”

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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