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Munster can only work on being better: Rowntree


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Graham Rowntree

Graham Rowntree

Graham Rowntree

Pandemic rules do not apply to sport. Everyone is not in this together. Especially those still unfortunate enough not to be allowed to play sport at all.

Those who are free to do so still face a different version of lockdown. Munster tip up the road to Dublin for the fourth time since rugby's emergence from hibernation.

Each night they have tipped back down the road on the end of another loss.

They've lost all five in all in the time since rugby's story resumed and Munster's familiar tale of woe against the men in blue did too.

Leinster are aiming for seven in a row, but this fixture isn't even the biggest one the European semi-finalists will play in the next month; a loss will be bearable; for Munster, close to unbearable.

Graham Rowntree, employed to embrace the physical demands of the squad and not the mental, eagerly dismissed any notion that Munster's parochial inferiority is now a complex.

"It's not a psychological challenge, is it?" the Englishman challenged.

"Factually, we've played them a lot over the last year and we've not beaten them.

"We have to look at why that happens and what we can do better, it's as simple as that and not build it up to be a psychological challenge - take from the game what we can do better. All we can do is try and work on that.

"I'm not going to give all our tactics away. They're a good team, aren't they? A proven good team.

"Look at their performance down at Exeter, but we're a good team as well.

"Trouble is, we've not given a good enough account of ourselves, particularly in that (Guinness PRO14) final, we know that and we look to build on our game."

√ Ireland coach Adam Griggs has made three changes to his starting line-up for tomorrow's Women's Six Nations third place play-off game against Italy in Dublin.

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Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood and Brittany Hogan are all in line for their first Test starts.

Ireland team to play Italy, Energia Park, Donnybrook, Dublin, tomorrow (12noon): E Considine; A Murphy Crowe, E Higgins, S Naoupu, B Parsons; S Flood, K Dane; L Peat, C Moloney, L Djougang; A McDermott, N Fryday; D Wall, B Hogan, C Griffin.

Replacements: N Jones, L Feely, L Lyons, G Moore, H O'Connor, E Lane, H Tyrrell, E Breen.


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