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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Michael Scully

Graham Rowntree bristles at suggestion Munster are in bonus territory for URC final

Munster boss Graham Rowntree insists his players deserve their shot at glory as the province gears up for the chance to win silverware for the first time since 2011.

Rowntree looked unhappy at today's Captains Run at the Cape Town stadium when asked if it felt like the province were in bonus territory after beating Glasgow and Leinster away in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively to reach the decider.

“It's win the next game," said the Reds supremo, after shaking his head.

READ MORE: Stormers boss John Dobson insists leaked video was not disrespectful of Munster

"Bonus territory? We went to Glasgow and won, and beat Leinster, we deserve to be here, and we want to win this game. We happen to find ourselves in a final.”

Munster will have to win their sixth game in a row on the road if they are to prevail against the defending champions.

However they are unbeaten in the preceding five, winning four - including on their last visit to Cape Town, thus ending the Stormers' long winning streak on home soil.

Nevertheless Munster will only have around 2,000 fans in a sold-out 55,000 attendance. “We don’t do things easily," Rowntree acknowledged.

"We’ve had some good adversarial growth, I think they call it. Our game has developed.

"We deserve to be here, regardless of what has happened in the domestic rounds, and in the play-offs, and we’re preparing for a final tomorrow.

“We’re going to do our best to win, make sure our game is at its best in order to give us that best opportunity.”

Rowntree explained the reasoning behind holding RG Snyman back with the big South African named on the bench while Munster's three other frontliners who missed the semi-final, Conor Murray, Calvin Nash and Malakai Fekitoa, come straight back into the line-up.

Tadhg Beirne is retained in the second row instead of switching to the back row, and Rowntree said: "Both world class players, I just feel Tadhg deserves that start, he was exceptional the last game.

"RG has proven he can bring energy off the bench. Not many people can bring RG Snyman off the bench, (only) the 'Bomb Squad'."

Nash over Keith Earls, who returned from injury to play well against Leinster, was also a talking point.

"Calvin's form is undeniable all season, but having said that Keith played very well in the last game," Rowntree acknowledged.

"To have Keith on the bench, we cover four positions so that's why we've done that. Calvin, I think, merits the start on how he's played throughout the season."

And as for the leaked video footage of Stormers players celebrating wildly after Munster beat Leinster, Rowntree commented: "We've got enough to worry about than worrying about a video of some guys cheering about playing at home again.

"It's not been a huge discussion point in our camp, we move on, we've enough to deal with getting our game better."


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