‘It's all a load of puff’ – Munster’s Jean Kleyn downplays video of Stormers’ URC final celebrations
Munster lock Jean Kleyn has downplayed the significance of the Stormers’ wild celebrations when it became clear that they would not be travelling to Dublin on Saturday for the URC final.
A video emerged online of an overjoyed Stormers squad following Munster’s semi-final win over Leinster, and while it could be used as extra motivation this week, Kleyn was quick to pour cold water over the suggestion.
The 29-year-old is aiming to win his first trophy with Munster against his former club, for whom he played 18 times before moving to Limerick in 2016.
“D'you know what? I didn't actually see the video myself,” Kleyn said from Munster’s base in Cape Town.
“I don't really go looking for those kinds of things and it didn't cross my path. I heard a lot about it, though.
“Look, I think any team that gets a home final would be delighted with it, you know? Whatever was said in the video or whatever happened, I'm not sure. But from my perspective, I think if the roles were reversed, we'd be delighted as well.
“So, yeah, I've heard a lot of talk about the video but to be honest, it's all a load of puff. Any team getting a home final after thinking they'd be playing Leinster away – when that's your other option – I think Munster at home seems pretty good. But I'd say we'll see on Saturday what the result leads to.”
Stormers hooker Joseph Dweba was seen and heard in the video shouting ‘We’re going to f**k them up’ with forwards coach Rito Hlungwani doubling down on that earlier this week by insisting:
“Joseph is a very passionate rugby player.
“He has a bit of a mouth on him, but he is one guy who usually backs up his words.
“Saying what he said, it wasn’t something that was meant to go out to the public. It’s not necessarily his fault. It’s not something that we’ve had a long chat about.
“At the end of the day, we respect Munster. They are the only team we haven’t beaten in the URC. They are coming here with a strong squad. So it’s a team we really respect.”
Dweba’s comment was put to Kleyn, but again, the Munster lock was unmoved, as he keeps his focus on the huge task at hand. “Ah, look, I think once again we're reading way too much into it,” the five-times capped South African born Ireland international added.
“I think from a players standpoint he couldn't exactly have the coach go, ‘Oh no, we are definitely not going to do that.’ You know what I mean?
“We are trying to read way too much into it but I'd say they were probably a few beers in after the game, things were said and you can't back down after saying it like that so I think that's as much as is in it.
“Look, we know what we have to go out and do, we are very much up for the battle so we'll see what happens on Saturday. We are prepping ourselves to do our best and perform at our highest level and I don't think there's anything else to be said about the video, to be honest.”
Meanwhile, Munster defence coach confirmed that the squad had settled well in Cape Town, without any hiccups following the long haul flight from Ireland.
Preparations continue for Saturday’s final against the defending champions, as Leamy made it clear how much it would mean to the province to win their first trophy since he was part of the 2011 Celtic League winning side.
“It would be very special,” Leamy added.
“It’s been a while, a number of years. IT’s great to be in a final of such a good competition like the URC. Being part of these final days as a player and a coach over the years, you can’t look too far ahead.
“It’s all about your preparation, getting all the little bits and pieces right and then the performance on the day. To win it would be great but it is all about the performance and the process that goes with it and that is what we are very focused on.”