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Goal-kicking woe is big a worry for Munster boss Foley

By Cian Tracey

Published 30/12/2015

Wayward: Rory Scannell was unable to convert an easy kick
Wayward: Rory Scannell was unable to convert an easy kick

Munster coach Anthony Foley has admitted that his side's recent goal-kicking misses are a concern as they look to bring a five-game losing streak to an end against Ulster on Saturday.

Ian Keatley was dropped for last weekend's defeat to Leinster after his recent poor form, while replacement Tyler Bleyendaal wasn't fit enough to kick at goal which meant that Rory Scannell was drafted in.

Scannell missed a straightforward kick in front of the posts on Sunday and Munster also declined to take a shot at goal when presented with a kickable opportunity at a crucial part of the game.

"We have said it. Tyler missed one against Dragons, Keats missed one against Leicester and Rory missed one in front of the posts," Foley said.

"There is no hiding away from the fact that we need to be getting those three points.

"But they step up and they miss them, we have got to then get back into the game somehow. You have to manage all those situations in the background and who's stepping up.

"The last day (Simon) Zebo was slotting them over from everywhere and Lucas (Gonzalez Amorosino) was kicking them as well in the warm-up so there are fellas well able to kick a ball but whether they are able to kick under pressure is the one you'd be reluctant to try to figure out."

Connacht prop Nathan White is hopeful that his side can get 2016 off to a flying start by beating his former side Leinster for the first time at the RDS.

Connacht have only won once in Dublin in the professional era when a last-gasp drop goal from former Leinster player Mark McHugh gave them victory in 2002.

Now White is hoping that they can end a 12-match losing run in Dublin and get their PRO12 campaign back on track after successive losses to Cardiff Blues and Ulster.

"It doesn't get any easier, but that's what we do," said the 34-year-old. "It's a great challenge to go to Dublin but we have a good group of young guys who are pretty enthusiastic. They are back bouncing around which drives the older guys on."

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