Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Edinburgh loss will only spur Ulster on, says Keatley

Pushing on: Ian Keatley will be aiming for a Heineken Cup win

Munster out-half Ian Keatley said the Heineken Cup loss to Edinburgh was "a shock to the system" and will be used to fire the Reds up for the back-to-back matches against Perpignan.

Munster got their campaign back on track after the 29-23 loss at Murrayfield by defeating Gloucester 26-10, and know that victory at Thomond Park on Sunday is vital if they are to qualify for the quarter-finals.

"Everyone knows in the Heineken Cup that you have to win your home matches, so that is our focus for the first week and then we will take the away match from there, but we are just zoning in on Perpignan now," said Keatley, who was in superb kicking form when landing six penalties from seven attempts to carve out an 18-14 win away to Dragons on Friday night

"The back-to-back matches are always huge in the Heineken Cup. We are on a roll. We beat Leinster and then we played Edinburgh and we lost over there, so we are not going to take things lightly this time. The Heineken Cup is the be-all and end-all for us really.

"We are always trying to raise our standards every week and the Edinburgh game was a major shock to the system.

"It will be used as a reminder not to take things for granted."

The win over Dragons keeps Munster on top of the Pro12 table with eight wins from nine games.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that South African Gerhard van den Heever, who was not registered for the Heineken Cup games against Perpignan, broke his arm on his debut against Dragons and will be out of action for some time.

Hooker Mike Sherry is awaiting the results of a scan on his left knee. No 8 James Coughlan is expected to be available for the Perpignan game after seeing a specialist as a precaution after receiving an eye injury at Rodney Parade.

Meanwhile, Racing Metro have signed Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Phillips had been without a club since having his contract with Bayonne terminated in October for allegedly turning up drunk to a video analysis session.

But Racing revealed they had approached the 31-year-old over a future move to the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir before the alleged events that led to his early exit from Bayonne took place.

A statement published on Racing's official website read: "Racing Metro 92 welcome the signing of Wales international Mike Phillips.

"Racing have been in discussion with Phillips' representatives for several months to recruit him for the 2014-15 season.

"Recent events that took place in Bayonne have only hastened his arrival in the Hauts-de-Seine.

"Phillips is committed for a period of two and a half years. He will be at the club on Tuesday and can feature in the European Cup meeting with Harlequins in Nantes on Saturday."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre