Perpignan target Thomond upset
December 9, 2009
Nicolas Mas is determined to take something away from Thomond Park © Getty Images
Perpignan have put their nightmare start to the Heineken Cup behind them and are targeting the points as they travel to face Munster at Thomond Park on Friday night.
Perpignan prop Nicolas Mas described their opening round loss to Benetton Treviso as a 'faux-pas' and is hopeful that their home win against Northampton last time out can provide impetus as they travel to the fortress-like home of the two-time European champions.
"After our faux-pas against Benetton Treviso in round one, we compromised our chances to qualify, but luckily a victory against Northampton Saints has helped us stand second in our Pool behind Munster so all is not lost," Mas told ERC. "We really made things difficult for ourselves and now we have no choice but to win these back-to-back games against Munster. It would be a real achievement for us to go and beat Munster but our ambitions are still there and we want to reach the quarter-finals.
"A huge challenge awaits us - especially when we go to face them on their home turf. Thomond Park is like a fortress and a very difficult ground at which to play. Munster are a great team well used to competing in the Heineken Cup and they always turn up on the day as a fully committed team."
The French champions have been in mixed domestic form in recent weeks, thumping Montpellier but losing to bottom side Albi, but will be in hope of causing some problems against a Munster side that is yet to fire so far this season. Mas has pinpointed the threat of the Munster pack and their fly-half Ronan O'Gara, whom he described as a 'metronome'.
"Their pack is very strong and their three-quarters are fantastic players but, above all, they have an excellent metronome operator in Ronan O'Gara," he said. "Make no mistake, we know what to expect and we know we are in for an extremely tough challenge."
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14