Win delights Stander, O’Mahony

Date published: January 7 2017

Munster number eight CJ Stander praised his team’s spirit as they won 32-7 on their first return to Paris since Anthony Foley’s passing.

Stander was one of four try scorers for the in-form Irish province as they comfortably beat Racing 92 at Stade Yves-du-Manoir on Saturday.

That leaves them atop Pool 1 in the Champions Cup and the back-row admitted they had Foley on their minds before and during the match.

“We always keep this emotion in the back of our heads, but we’ve been working hard from pre-season onwards. We have good structures, Axel left a lot of what we’re working on, how we want to play,” said Stander following the impressive victory over the French heavyweight side.

“Our coaches, Rassie, Jacques, Fla and Felix have got good plans and we just want to go out on the pitch and play for them.

“From a team point of view, everyone worked very hard all week. We said we’d need work-rate and to stand up for each other in this match and honour the big man as we try to do every week.

“Coming back to Paris after his death, you talk about it, the emotion of it, and it catches you again. It’s tough, you remember from last time, you get very emotional.

“You try to hide it, but it’s into you and luckily everyone’s in the same boat. I think we’ve been dealing with it quite well the last few weeks.”

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony was also delighted with the five points, but was keen to keep his team grounded ahead of the pool run-in.

“It was a big win, it’s up there but we’re not going to get carried away. Anywhere in France, especially against a team as passionate and with as much history as Racing, you’d be very proud of the boys. It was quite a mature performance,” he said.

“But there’s a lot of work to be done, especially with three big European games to play in as many weeks. We have to recover and then work hard to prepare for a side as good as Glasgow are.”