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Joe Schmidt: Leinster-Munster has a special allure

Updated: Wednesday, 03 Oct 2012 21:46 | Comments

Joe Schmidt is impressed with Rob Penney's work at Munster thus far
Joe Schmidt is impressed with Rob Penney's work at Munster thus far

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has spoken of the special allure of a Leinster-Munster derby clash ahead of their meeting in the RaboDirect PRO12 at Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

“It’s always a game that has a certain allure to it. That allure comes from the players knowing each other so well,” said Schmidt.

“Combining so well in a green jersey, but when they’re wearing red and blue, it becomes like trying to get one over on your brother.

“There’s always a little bit more kind of spite in it. There’s a little bit more spark in it. That’s one of the reasons derby games draw the crowd really.”

The Leinster supremo has also spoken of how the match has taken on a life of its own in the public mindset.

He said: “People talk about the PRO12 and the Heineken Cup, and separate to that is the derby game Munster-Leinster.

“I think that’s a great thing to have – a derby game. Yes, there’s PRO12 points up for grabs, and we both would like to get that, but it’s about a lot more than that, you know" - Joe Schmidt

“I think that’s a great thing to have – a derby game. Yes, there’s PRO12 points up for grabs, and we both would like to get that, but it’s about a lot more than that, you know.

“That’s one of the reasons I think supporters and players, and just the atmosphere, becomes that more charged.”

Munster go into the tie with Leinster on the back of a defeat to Ospreys, but Schmidt was impressed with Rob Penney’s team.

“That’s not massively surprising,” said Schmidt. “Ospreys are a very tough side and I think that Munster acquitted themselves fairly well.

“They were right in that game until [Richard] Hibbard’s try in almost the 70th minute. So they were right in that game for a long period, even though they were struggling to get a rhythm.

“That rhythm will continue to come. I can see the real structure that Rob’s put into their game.

“That seems to be gelling well with what the players want to do.”

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