Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

O'Connell keeping feet on ground

Paul O'Connell

Munster skipper Paul O'Connell believes his side still have a way to go to get up to the level of Toulouse and Leinster in the Heineken Cup despite their emphatic 51-36 win over Northampton.

Saturday's victory saw the Irish province complete their group campaign with a perfect six out of six wins for the first time in their history and move to 25 points - one ahead of champions Leinster in the race for top quarter-final seedings.

"Last year didn't go our way, but we've had a bit of luck along the way this season and worked very hard to go six from six," said O'Connell. "We've still got a bit of a way to go to get up to the standard of Toulouse and Leinster."

He added: "We've proved nothing yet - we've just come out of our pool and won nothing. We've got a long way to go to emulate the teams of 2006 and 2008 who won the tournament."

A Simon Zebo second-half hat-trick helped Munster run out winners at Franklin's Gardens.

"It was a very good performance, especially when you consider how much pressure we were under at the scrum," O'Connell said.

"That has been coming for a while. We've been very close and it was very satisfying to see the back line finishing off a few moves. It's right up there because it came against a good side away from home at the business end of the Heineken Cup.

"At times we have showed some good form. The work ethic has been there and I was very happy to see the backs finishing off some moves.

"That 10-minute period just after half-time gave us a real lift. To be under such pressure in the scrum and still come out on top is testament to the strength and heart of the team."