“It Was The First Time Ever That I Announced A Rugby Team Over Microsoft Teams.”
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For the second week running, Munster Rugby left it late last night but continued their perfect start to the domestic season with a 25-23 win over Edinburgh on their return to Thomond Park.
Ben Healy was the hero last week with his last-gasp penalty against Scarlets and the young outhalf was on the ball again last night, kicking six penalties from seven and converting CJ Stander’s try in the final minutes to snatch the win.
Munster had plenty of the ball for large periods but were frustrated by an excellent Edinburgh defence who put in some crunching tackles that were all the more apparent in an empty Thomond Park with no fans in attendance.
Speaking after the game, head coach Johann van Graan thanked the departing Denis Logan for the excellent work he has done in his time at the province in helping to create a super fit team.
“Very happy about that win Jason,” van Graan told us.
“A real testament to our fitness, we said this game would go right down to the wire with the quality of the opposition we faced tonight.
“A special mention to Denis Logan, our head of athletic performance, this was his last game for Munster Rugby, he’s created a very fit team.
“Very glad with that 80-minute performance.”
Young halfback duo Craig Casey and Ben Healy impressed on the night with the former named man of the match and while their performances were far from perfect, van Graan was delighted they both took their chances.
“It was a real squad effort this week,” van Graan said.
We want our squad to become better and it’s certainly becoming better. It’s great for lads to use their opportunities.
“I thought it wasn’t perfect from the two of them but in terms of composure, specifically from Ben to come back and slot that kick it was very, very well done against a very good Edinburgh side.”
Munster’s preparations were far ideal heading into the game with a senior playing testing positive for COVID-19, resulting in training being shut down for most of the week.
Van Graan noted it was a difficult week with the South African forced to announced his squad over Microsoft Teams for the first time in his career.
“Look Jason it was very tough to manage it but I think we all adapted, that’s one of the goals we set as a group for the year ahead because nobody knows what’s going to happen,” van Graan added.
“We had to adapt from Monday evening onwards, we kept everybody informed, we hoped that we would have got everybody back on Thursday morning but some of the tests were delayed.
“It was the first time ever that I announced a rugby team over Microsoft Teams. We only did that at half seven on Thursday evening because that’s only when we knew that certain guys wouldn’t be available.
“All credit to the staff and the players, everybody adapted accordingly. We had one proper captain’s run on Friday morning and a brilliant result against a top-quality side. They’re the guys that won the group last season.