Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

It’s time to win at all costs: McGahan

Once bitten, twice shy. Last season, Munster coach Tony McGahan immersed himself in a lather when declaring that five points were his target from the then defending champions' Heineken Cup home opener against a second-string Montauban.

Relying on Ronan O'Gara's late, late penalty strike was now how he envisaged the subsequent script, hence his reluctance to raise his head above the parapet this week.

“We have to get a result this week,” he says.

“There's nothing for us to hold back from. It's purely about a result. It's not about wanting to, it's about having to. As for the bonus point, you can write about that one yourself.”

What a difference a year makes. Even Alan Quinlan, soldiering into his 178th competitive match for the province, admits that the 'W' is the primary focus against Treviso, the rank outsiders in this pool.

“Winning at all costs is what matters to us this weekend,” says the Tipperary flanker. “If we're being selfish, we want to try and improve performance. It's a Cup game though, that's the way we're looking at it and the win is the most important thing. But we want to get a good feeling in the group and a positive scenario for our supporters. In an ideal world, we'd want a performance and a win. We have to win the game though. Losing is not an option.”

At 1/250 and 32 point favourites, that there remains conjecture within the Munster camp about the possible result — publicly, at least — indicates the depth of uncertainty that currently resides there.

“The set-piece is back at the forefront of the game,” says McGahan. “That and the breakdown are now the key components. If your set-piece on your own ball is not up to standard, it's very difficult to get a result.”

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