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Munster have the talent to play expansive rugby | Niamh Briggs

Former Ireland captain Niamh Briggs joined Joe Molloy on Wednesday Night Rugby to discuss Munster...

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

17:53 6 Oct 2021



Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

17:53 6 Oct 2021


Former Ireland captain Niamh Briggs joined Joe Molloy on Wednesday Night Rugby to discuss Munster's potential in the Europe.

Munster's victory over the Stormers in the Ultimate Rugby Championship has been strangely controversial.

Johann Van Graan's side dominated their South African counterparts. They scored four tries and enjoyed a bonus-point victory. But eyes were raised because they scored all four of those tries with forwards. Gordon D'Arcy felt the need to defend Munster on Monday Night Rugby.

D'Arcy admired the way in which the Munster pack dominated their opponents. He described the performance as Munster getting back to their roots, embracing the tradition of the team, and matching the standards set by the teams that won European Cups.

Niamh Briggs echoed that sentiment on Wednesday Night Rugby.

"I feel like there's something different this year," Briggs said.

"We've seen them play to the edges a little bit more than we've possibly seen them before. Zebo's second try in Round 1 shows that they're probably looking to move the ball a bit more. They're looking to play in around that tight. They're not really looking to run into bodies anymore.

"They're more running into spaces around bodies which I was critical of last year. I felt like they didn't offer enough in terms of the ball carrying."

Briggs noted that Munster have been more effective in clearouts, on soft shoulders and carrying in different ways. The challenge for Munster in this specific game was their consistency in executing what they were trying to do.

The first half and the second half were two completely different performances.

"But at times the other day they didn't have that in the first half. They seemed to have a lot of miscommunication, for example between Coombes and Casey a couple of times, but they managed to work around it and I think that's a huge positive."

While the signs are good and the progress is there, Briggs isn't sure Munster have enough to beat the best teams in Europe just yet.

"I'm not sure it's enough to beat the bigger teams but I think you've got to work your way into it and there were definitely moments the other day where you saw small little passes that you wouldn't have seen before.

"I don't think they're going to physically beat anyone up but they have handling ability."

Briggs believes that handling ability extends to the forwards and through the backline. With Damien De Allende and Chris Farrell in the center, as well as a trio of finishers outside of them, the attacking potential in Munster is there to be embraced.

Cian Healy is a freak of nature | Alan Quinlan.

 

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