Rees sounds Scarlets rallying call
December 12, 2011
Munster lock Paul O'Connell was in imperious form against the Scarlets © Getty Images
The Scarlets' Matthew Rees has called on his side to re-find their previous Heineken Cup form and maintains they can go to Thomond Park and get a result against Munster.
Munster's 17-14 triumph in front of a Heineken Cup record European crowd for the Scarlets of 13,183 put them in charge of Pool 1 as they made it three out of three and inflicted the first defeat on the home side. But Rees believes that if his team can summon up the passion and precision of some of their most famous Heineken Cup wins on the road - 41-34 in Toulouse in 2006 and 28-23 in Northampton this season - anything is possible in Limerick this weekend.
"We did more than enough to win the game at Parc y Scarlets. It was down to our own errors that we lost," said Rees, who played in the Heineken Cup quarter-final victory over Munster in 2007. "The pleasing thing is that we know we can put it right before going to Thomond Park on Sunday for the return tie.
"We respect Munster and we knew it was going to be a tough game against them. But they scored a try from a kick we didn't put off the park and that put us under pressure. We have got another chance, another opportunity, this weekend and we have got to look at this defeat and learn the lessons.
"We know it is going to be a difficult task, but as long as we get back on top of our game, as we were in Northampton, there is no reason why we can't get a result. Munster were more clinical than us and they looked to dominate the contact area. Munster did a good job on us in that area but hopefully we will be allowed to get quicker ball on Sunday."
The defeat meant Munster have pulled away with three wins from the four tournament meetings between the clubs in the contest in which the Heineken Cup's leading points scorer - Munster outside half Ronan O'Gara - played his 100th tournament match to join clubmate and prop John Hayes as the Heineken Cup's first centurions.
"However, while I am sure nobody will give us a hope in hell of winning at Thomond Park, we know we have proven in the past we can go away and win big games in the Heineken Cup," said Rees. "We just have to go with the right attitude and commitment and show them what we can do.
"Thomond is a tough place to go and Munster have a great following there. We have got to block out the crowd and just play what is in front of us. We need to be upbeat this week and put the defeat behind us. We just need to look back at the Northampton game. We went up there, chucked everything at them and came away with a great result. There is no reason why we can't do that again."
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