Belfast Telegraph

Scannell keen for Munster to show they've learned lessons

Up for it: Rory Scannell is driven by the last two years of semi-final woe
Up for it: Rory Scannell is driven by the last two years of semi-final woe

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

For the third successive season, Munster have fought tooth and nail to get themselves to a Champions Cup semi-final.

In 2017, they rode the emotion of a tumultuous campaign until they hit a brick wall in Saracens.

A year later, they came back from a two-game tour of South Africa and were blown away by Racing 92's sensational start.

On Saturday, they come up against Saracens again at the Ricoh Arena and they're determined to do themselves justice with their performance.

Rory Scannell started both of those last-four matches and like all of his team-mates, he has regrets about the way they went.

Now he wants to channel that hurt into a display in Coventry.

"Two years ago a lot of that squad hadn't been involved in a European knockout game because the previous two seasons we hadn't made it out of the group," he said. "So, we look back on it and we let the pressure get to us on the day, we weren't firing really.

"Sarries were probably at their best at the time, we found ourselves chasing the game.

"The last two years the majority of the squad have experienced those big European knockout games. Hopefully we've learned.

"It's an exciting challenge ahead at the weekend, the lads can't wait to rip in now.

"You know at the time (2017) I was young breaking into that team and I wouldn't have thought about the outside stuff too much.

"But when you have 50,000 Munster supporters behind you in the Aviva and you nearly feel like you let them down, we had such good support and we didn't do them or ourselves justice.

"We just try and treat these games now like it's another game, but it's a knockout game and so we prepare the exact same as we would for another game, we try not to think about the outside stuff too much."

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