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Van Graan: Zebre Win Has No Bearing On Edinburgh Quarter-Final

Johann van Graan Munster

In the regularly spoken words of head coach Johann van Graan, Munster will go “back to zero” when they regroup on Monday ahead of their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final clash with Edinburgh next weekend. 

Preparation for that season-defining match came in the shape of a bonus-point win over Zebre at Thomond Park on Saturday but don’t let the scoreline fool you, the southern province struggled for large periods of that game, particularly in the first half.

However, the introduction of some big names from the bench changed the game as Munster began to dictate proceedings with clever use of territorial kicking and a strong setpiece which the Italian side could offer little in response.

Munster Johann van Graan

Munster will also be buoyed by the return of their Ireland contingent while the biggest talking point this week will be the availability of Joey Carbery who is recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up during the Six Nations.

Van Graan, speaking after the win on in Limerick, says that the result against Michael Bradley’s side will have little impact on the clash with Edinburgh.

“I treat every single game the same,” van Graan told the media on Saturday.

“Some things we weren’t great at tonight, some things we were, five points on offer. We took the five points and now move on.

Johann van Graan Munster

“Next week’s game has nothing to do with this game. We’re into European knockout rugby. Last season we got through by one point so one point will be good enough next week. It will be a totally different team, a totally different vibe and a different competition in Edinburgh in Scotland.

“It’s great to look forward to next week and speaking about next week, that’s why you coach, that’s why you play, you want to be selected and part of these games coming up. I won’t say it’s got any bearing on next weekend.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter