Published: 11:30 | 16/11/20

Van Graan delighted with Munster start

Munster head coach Johann van Graan was pleased to seal a bonus-point win over Ospreys to maintain their impressive start to the Guinness PRO14 campaign.

A fifth successive victory saw Munster stretch their lead at the top of Conference B to eight points, having played a game less than Scarlets, who are currently second.

With his side enjoying their best start to the league since 2008, the Reds are well placed to secure a home semi-final, but van Graan has urged caution after just five games.

"I'm pretty happy with that," he told eir sport. "We know that Osprey are a dangerous side coupled with the fact that we didn't play for two weeks and some pretty tricky conditions, so we are pretty happy. Obviously a lot of work ons, like every week, but I will take 38 points at home.

"Every year we start off saying we want a home semi-final and we were just short by a points difference and a loss against Edinburgh last season so we said we want to get that home semi-final this season. Obviously that's a long way off but we can only control what’s in front of us and in this time of COVID 19 who knows what is happening tomorrow so we'll take the points on offer and that is a good five-point win."

Gavin Coombes scored a hat-trick as the Reds defeated their Welsh opponents 38-22 and van Graan is delighted with the impact he is having on the team.

"Coombsie has been knocking on the door for the last two years. We had a good chat and I said 'this is your year'," said Van Graan.

"His ball carrying, all-round fitness and hunger has been excellent at the start of this season. That's what it's about. With CJ (Stander) away at international rugby he has literally pushed his way into a starting position and he is going to be pretty hard to keep out of the 23."

Munster face Glasgow on Monday, 23 November and van Graan has no worries about his side's ability to adapt to the change to the schedule.

"It's different, we just said in the team meeting there, it's like a Friday night game for us now, I know tomorrow is Monday but it is like a Saturday and Sunday for us. We play in eight days, it's a strange time in the world and we will adjust accordingly," he stated.

Image: Sportsfile

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