Ronan O'Mahony attributes stunning run to defence

Munster have won 12 of their last 13 matches, but will be missing a number of first team players as Ireland's Six Nations campaign kicks off

BY Cian Roche 16:26 Wednesday 1 February 2017, 16:26 1 Feb 2017

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy 

Munster wing Ronan O'Mahony has said that Munster's defensive improvements this year have led to their rich vein of form both at home and in Europe.

The Irish province have won 12 of their last 13 games in all competitions and O'Mahony says that players have bought into a new defensive system.

"We've definitely turned it around," he said. "Jacques [Nienaber], our defence coach, has put huge time into us and I think everyone has bought into the defensive system.

"It's not all about scoring points, it's trying to keep the other teams scoreless and we have done that. We've kept teams to no scores. We've taken pride in our defence.

"Everyone is out there trying to make the biggest hits they can and execute double-team hits. It's infectious, defence can be very infectious in the league. When you see a lad put in a big hit for you and put in a big hit for the team, you want to do it as well and give as much as you can."

Munster will now have to cope with the loss of a number of first team regulars with the beginning of the Six Nations this weekend. Joe Schmidt called up Niall and Rory Scannell to the team alongside, Andrew Conway as the uncapped Munster men to join the side.

Ian Keatley has been also been drafted in on account of Johnny Sexton's calf injury, while Conor Murray was always expected to be one of the first players on the team sheet for Ireland's opener with Scotland.

"Irish provinces are going pretty well so I'm sure Joe Schmidt will have them well prepared going into Scotland this weekend. 

"It's hugely competitive. All teams are looking unbelievably good and unbelievably strong. Ireland will be as best prepared under Joe Schmidt, he's a serious operator.

"I think we have 13 up at camp and hopefully we see a good few in the matchday squad. A lot of lads showing great form for Munster and that's leading into the international side of things. It'll be good to see them get out and play."

Munster's Ronan O'Mahony speaking ahead of this weekend's clash with Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO12. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy  

Rassie Erasmus' side look ahead to this weekend's Guinness PRO12 clash with Edinburgh at Myreside and O'Mahony agrees that to break into the international set-up, maintaining his side's good form is a must.

"Any player growing up, it's the pinnacle of their dreams to go ahead and play for their country. I'll keep knocking on the door but first and foremost, Munster is my concern. Putting in our performances here is vital, we have to keep that momentum going."

"[Edinburgh] have a huge amount of players involved with Scotland. Their backline can be electric with Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour who are also showing a rich vein of form for Glasgow."


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