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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 24 January, 2019

Scannell and Munster determined to deliver more than half measures in final winter inter-pro

After falling short in in both of their seasonal derbies, Munster are back on home turf demanding a win.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

RORY SCANNELL KNOWS that big performances for Munster are going to be required if he is to get back in the Irish squad and tomorrow’s clash with Connacht presents him with a big opportunity.

But getting Munster back to winning ways is just as important as they bid to prevent three straight losses in the festive derbies before heading into crucial Champions Cup clashes against Racing 92 and Castres.

Scannell is fully aware the southern province could be going into this match on the back of two festive wins. But a slow start against Leinster and a second-half collapse against Ulster undid their efforts and instead delivered back-to-back defeats.

“We were slow out of the blocks against Leinster and you know, if you give a team of that quality a lead like that you are going to struggle. I think we played some good rugby in the second half,” says Scannell.

“I think the score in the second half was 19-7, but at that stage, it was too late.

“It was the other way around against Ulster. We will be looking to get some balance there and put in an 80-minute performance rather than a 40-minute performance,” added the Corkman.

Injuries and the three-week suspension dished out to Sammy Arnold this week create an opportunity for Scannell on the Test front too.

Rory Scannell Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The centre made his debut in the summer in the USA and  picked up two more caps in Japan but didn’t make the cut when Joe Schmidt named his November squad.

“You know that Joe Schmidt and the other coaches are looking at mainly the European games and the inter-pro derbies,” said the 24-year old, who has scored 90 points in 68 appearances for Munster.

They are looking at certain lads going up against each other and it would be in the back of your mind, but for the moment, we are just concentrating on Munster. This is an important time for the club. That is at the forefront for us at the minute, but I am sure some players might have it at the front of their minds alright.

“I will be looking to put in a good performance in an inter-pro derby. The Irish squad will be announced in a few weeks and I’ll be doing my best to put my hand up. I’ll just be concentrating on my own performance and doing my best to make sure I add to the team’s performance.”

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John Fallon

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