‘You can’t be entering a game all wired up because of a social media post’ – Graham Rowntree plays down Stormers video
Munster coach Graham Rowntree says he won't be playing the video of the Stormers celebrating his side's win over Leinster to his players in the build-up to this evening's United Rugby Championship final, insisting that they cannot get over-hyped by the occasion as they look to end their 12-year wait for silverware.
In the aftermath of Jack Crowley's winning drop-goal, footage emerged of the Cape Town side's players and management celebrating the fact that they'd be at home for the final, with Springbok hooker Joseph Dweba shouting 'We're going to f*** them up!' into the camera.
Coach John Dobson said yesterday that he'd understand if Munster used the clip as part of their build-up, but Rowntree says he doesn't want to waste the players' energy
"I've not really used it that much. You can’t get hyped up like that, it’s a distraction," he said.
"The big word he (Peter O'Mahony) uses a lot and he’s right, be calm. That’s one thing we’ve done well under pressure, we’ve been calm and making good decisions. Look at Crowley, calm, body language, everything, just calm.
“You can’t be entering a game all wired up because of a social media post. No, it’s not something that we’ve used to fuel the team. The game’s about more than that.”
The coach has recalled Calvin Nash, Malakai Fekitoa and Conor Murray to his backline with Crowley moving back to out-half for the final, with RG Snyman kept in reserve as Rowntree keeps faith in the starting pack.
The Stormers have recalled Springboks Deon Fourie and Marvin Orie and will be backed by most of the 55,000 at the DHL Stadium, with around 2,500 Munster fans estimated to have made the trip.
It is their sixth away game in a row and Rowntree reckons they're battle-hardened and ready.
“We’ve been playing knockout rugby for more than a month. When we were last down here we were trying to get into Europe, the next thing you know we’re in a quarter-final. Then, we’re in a semi. We’re in a final!" he said.
“We keep building, they’re growing our game, the lads, but they’re not happy and getting back to our coaches, Mike Prendergast, Andi, Leams (Denis Leamy), they’re like, ‘we’ve got to be better lads’. Pushing our game.
“We’ve got to be at our best tomorrow, let’s agree that. We’ve got to score tries, they will score tries, we’ve got to try and limit that. They’re a brilliant team, we’ll be at our best and if that’s not good enough, fair enough.
“They’re at home but we’ve been away from home plenty. It’s our sixth game away from home on the trot, when’s that been done before?
“We’ll have done 100,000km travelling when we get back to Limerick on Monday.
"That’s motivation for us: adversity on the road. The group’s tight, we’ve not had the ability to rotate the squad massively. It’s insane, look at Jean Kleyn, the amount of minutes he’s played this year, the same guys are trotting out, doing a job for us. That’s all we worry about, just growing our game.”