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Rob Penney: Bonus point could be crucial for Munster

Updated: Sunday, 21 Oct 2012 18:01 | Comments

Damien Varley's late touchdown earned a bonus point for Munster
Damien Varley's late touchdown earned a bonus point for Munster

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Munster head coach Rob Penney believes his side's bonus-point win over Edinburgh will provide invaluable momentum and confidence ahead of their crucial back-to-back Heineken Cup meetings with Saracens in December.

Munster currently trail Pool One leaders Saracens by three points, following their 33-0 demolition of a poor Edinburgh side at Thomond Park.

Three tries in the final 10 minutes from Peter O'Mahony, Sean Dougall and Damien Varley, to add to Conor Murray's earlier touchdown, ensured Munster collected an unlikely bonus point against the disappointing Scots.

Edinburgh failed to score a single point for the second successive Heineken Cup pool game, and having shipped 78 unanswered points in their two opening fixtures, have seen their hopes of making the quarter-finals all but disappear.

Speaking afterwards, Penney said: "The bonus point could be very important. The critical thing is we have a couple of massive games pre-Christmas against Saracens.

"We are still masters of our own destiny in that regard. If we do well then we are still in the hunt, whether we get bonus points or not."

"We are still masters of our own destiny" - Rob Penney

He added: "The performance today probably wouldn't be good enough to beat Saracens. We still have lots and lots to do.

"The most pleasing thing about this win was the way the boys embraced their work and got into it."

The New Zealander added: "They were hurt after last week (against Racing Metro). We still have a lot of improving. Our unforced error rate was far too high.

"Edinburgh were hurting as well and for the first half it was a competitive match.

"I felt we dominated territorially for large parts and controlled the fixture to that point, but we hadn't capitalised or got the rewards."

Edinburgh boss Michael Bradley admitted his charges had been "embarrassed again", a week after their 45-0 home defeat to Saracens.

"The performance today probably wouldn't be good enough to beat Saracens" - Rob Penney

"It is not looking good," admitted Bradley, the former Ireland scrum-half.

"At this stage you won't be saying 'no' to qualifying for the quarter-finals...if we win the last four games and get four bonus points and scrape in as the number eight qualifier, which is very unlikely.

"Losing your first two games and getting no points is a recipe for being out of the competition. You have to acknowledge that.

"We are not necessarily worried about winning the Heineken Cup or the Amlin Challenge Cup now, we are more worried about winning the next (league) match against the Scarlets at this stage."

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