Accentuate the positive... even in defeat

POSITIVES in defeat may sound cliched, but how a team deals with adversity can often be as vital in sport as winning.

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Duncy Weir back in the mix
Duncy Weir back in the mix

So amid the soul-searching that follows a defeat like the painful 6-0 reverse we suffered against Leinster last week, we travel to Munster on Saturday convinced we are on the right path.

There was a fair amount of frustration after our Leinster loss at Scotstoun – if ever a game underlined the fine line between success and failure at professional level that was it.

Our downfall was being unable to convert pressure, possession and territory, especially since we we dominated after the interval against the European champions.

Yet, the pluses far outweigh the minuses as we look forward to our trip to Limerick.

Yet again I thought our pack was outstanding and it was great to have Moray Low back. And I thought Mike Cusack had an immense game.

The way we pinned Leinster in their own 22 for large chunks of the second period was a big positive.

With a bit more composure, we would have had the scoreboard turning over.

But the level of frustration within the dressing-room will be a real motivation for the Munster fixture.

We know we have to start winning these close games and making sure that when we are in the right position we take the right option and that will be especially vital on Saturday night. Munster play a more expansive game than the old forwards-orientated style that made them European champions.

Right now they have the highest pass conversion rate in the PRO12, which underlines the way they have evolved since Rob Penney arrived from New Zealand.

But the other warning signal for us ahead of Saturday night is the fact Munster have just slipped to their first- ever home defeat to the Scralets.

Yet we must remain focused on what we do. We will be boosted by the return of some of our Scotland boys.

I am confident we have a team that'll do us proud and hope-fully produce the result we need.

I am delighted to welcome Duncan Weir back into the mix for Saturday night. He has put behind him the frustration of a training ground injury and his hunger to get back into action has been clear to see.

But he knows he has a fight on his hands to nail down the starting place at stand-off with Scott Wight and Ruaridh Jackson.

Sean Mailtland joined us from New Zealand at the start of the week, and I'm sure we have acquired a class finisher who is desperate to make a name for himself.

All of which leaves us in good shape ahead of one of the biggest tests in club rugby this Saturday.


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