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Club Rugby

Round-up: Munster eager to double up on Saracens


The Munster head coach, Rob Penney, described next Sunday's return Heineken Cup match with Saracens as a "must-win" game, with the teams now level at the top of Pool One after his side claimed their fourth European success over the Londoners, 15-9 at Thomond Park.

"They are all 'must-win' games, to be fair," said Penney. "We are in a tough pool, but Sunday's game is a must-win."

Saracens' director of rugby Mark McCall was disappointed with his side's display after overseeing their first defeat in this season's competition. "It was a frustrating kind of game because when we did have possession they were quite happy to give penalties away; the penalty count was huge against them," said McCall. "Both sides defended so well and the pressure of the occasion probably didn't let the skills unfold as well as both sides would have liked."

Elsewhere in the Heineken Cup, Scarlets suffered an injury scare to outside-half Rhys Priestland, who was carried off during the second half of his side's 22-16 Pool Five defeat by Exeter at Parc y Scarlets.

"He has got an Achilles injury," said the Scarlets head coach, Simon Easterby. "We won't know the extent of that until he has a scan. But it didn't look good."

The Scarlets also lost flanker Aaron Shingler with a hip injury in the latter stages, adding to what Easterby said was a difficult contest.

"You can't give any side the start they had and we slipped off a couple of tackles and they scored a soft try and they scored a couple of points from our error and indiscipline," he said.

The Harlequins director of rugby, Conor O'Shea, refused to get carried away after his side's 57-14 win over Zebre in Pool Three left them with three wins from three in the competition. Despite the convincing win over the new Italian side in Parma, O'Shea played down the performance which put them six points clear of Connacht, and instead looks to build a campaign that will see them prosper come May.

"Of course there is ambition in the club, but people will write today's result off as irrelevant, and they are more than entitled to do just that," he said. "When we lose games we don't get carried away, and it's the same when we win. It's about being in with a shout come April and May."