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"Its just a field" - Pat Howard

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    "Its just a field" - Pat Howard



    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,377-2551176,00.html



    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=465>
    <T>
    <TR>
    <TD vAlign=top align=left>@@@@SPAN =date>The Times@@@@/SPAN></TD>
    <TD vAlign=top align=right>@@@@SPAN =date>January 17, 2007@@@@/SPAN></TD></TR></T></TABLE>

    <H1>Howard out to debunk Munster's infallibility</H1>


    @@@@SPAN =byline>John Westerby@@@@/SPAN>



    The task facing Pat Howard before Leicester’s crucial Heineken Cup match against Munster on Saturday is not so much motivating his players as demythologising their opponents.


    The legend of Thomond Park, where Munster have never been beaten in the Heineken Cup, has grown to such an extent that the ground might be assumed to have supernatural qualities.


    As Leicester prepare for the match that will determine the winners of pool four, Howard, the head coach, has been emphasising that qualification for the quarter-finals will be decided only by earthly forces.


    “It’s just a field, it’s just 15 guys,” Howard said yesterday. “They know that, we know that. There’s not as much mystery to it as you’d imagine. It just means a hell of a lot to Munster to win at home in the Heineken Cup, so they’ll defend it [the record] with everything they’ve got.”


    Two of the more far-fetched chapters of the Thomond Park story have been written at this stage of the competition against English opposition. In 2003, Munster needed to beat Gloucester by 27 points to qualify and won 33-6. Last season, they needed to beat Sale Sharks and score four tries and, in a 31-9 victory, David Wallace crossed for the fourth try in the second minute added on for stoppages.


    However, Howard has first-hand experience of victory at Thomond Park, having played in the Australia touring team who beat Munster in 1996. He has also pointed out to his squad that Edinburgh won there in the Magners League this season, but he has great admiration for Munster’s record in the Heineken Cup.


    “It’s not as easy as people make it out to be,” he said. “People talk about coming to Welford Road in the Premiership [where Leicester have not lost for three years], saying we just have to rock up to win. It’s not like that. I’m sure Munster talk about not losing their record every time they go out there.”


    Leicester have a concern over Martin Castrogiovanni, the prop forward, who has a sore shoulder, but Paul Burke, the former Munster fly half, has recovered from a knee injury and will probably be named on the bench, with Ian Humphreys likely to start at fly half.

    #2
    [img]smileys/biggrin.gif[/img], Thanks Pat. Or should that be Paddy ? [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]

    Comment


      #3
      If they go out with the "it's just a field" mentality, they will get one hell of a land.

      Comment


        #4
        If it is just a field, why is he commenting on it? Must be in his head already!

        Comment


          #5


          “It’s just a field, it’s just 15 guys,” Howard said yesterday. “They know that, we know that. There’s not as much mystery to it as you’d imagine. It just means a hell of a lot to Munster to win at home in the Heineken Cup, so they’ll defend it [the record] with everything they’ve got.”


          it may be just a field to him, but not to the players or supporters.the fighting talk has started.it will end on saturday. he is quoted as saying that the only way that qualification will be sorted is by 'earthly forces'. i'' give hime eartly forces, every single one of you lucky feckers who willbe in the ground on saturday, needs to show him up on this remark. i want to see the old girl shake on her foundations. respect their playersand management team but show them what this 'field' and the men on it doing battle can achieve. 'STAND UP AND FIGHT'.

          Comment


            #6


            It may be just a field, BUT IT'S YOUR FIELD BULL!


            Comment


              #7


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              //->One of the keys to ending Wales long winning record at homeagainst England in the 60s and 70s was England getting their first win.


              Leicester must convince themselves that it is just another pitch. Just like England had to do to win at the old National Stadium.


              After all for a few years Ireland enjoyed playing in Cardiff because they rose above the hype.


              In the same way Ireland must target the6 nations Grand Slam and not dwell on the "History". Yes it is true that Ireland have not done a GS since 1947 but that has nothing to do with the present squad.





              The game on the weekend could be a great battle and one worth of a later stage than a group game!

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              Comment


                #8
                they've already lost their focus- excellent.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Howard is right. They are definitely going to win. I just hope we can put up a brave fight so that all the kids watching wont be too upset.

                  Comment


                    #10


                    Oh no he knows our secret !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    Comment


                      #11

                      Good man Pat Howard! Nothing like a bit of amateur psychology and a blab to the newspapers.

                      Contrast him to DK, who says little to the media and saves the good stuff for the dressing room!

                      'Just a field?' That's right, yeah!

                      As the Bull McCabe says: 'No outsider will bid for my field!'

                      G'wan Munster!!!</font>

                      Trust is good; control is better. V I Lenin.

                      Comment


                        #12


                        It's not just 'a' field Pat... it's 'the' Field... the Bull's Field...


                        Comment


                          #13
                          how can ye warm to people who are so rude and disrespectful?

                          if ROG had said that about welford road or twickenham there would be an embarrasing interview on SKY and after a public humiliation and a 100 lashes he would be banned for 6 games by christopher quinlan (ENG)

                          If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.

                          Comment


                            #14


                            Ah, in fairness, if you leave aside the history and the supporters, it is actually just afield. [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]


                            Anyway, what would you expect?


                            Pat Howard: "Yeah, obviously the lads are quaking in their boots. I mean, we saw what happened to Sale. The players are all savages, and as for that crowd? Personally I think we'll be lucky to live to the end of the game without dying of fear-induced heart attacks. I've heard they sacrifice goats at the Balla end, that's what gives them such superhuman powers." [img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]
                            For you stole Trevelyan\'s watch, So the young might see....oh, never mind....

                            Comment


                              #15
                              he's wrong though, thomond park is also terraces a stand and two bars. it's not called Thomond Field.
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