Planet Rugby

O'Connell talks up Toulouse

02nd April 2014 11:48

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Paul O Connell Munster

Cautious: Paul O'Connell

Munster face a "mammoth task" against Toulouse in Saturday's European Cup quarter-final clash, according to captain Paul O'Connell.

O'Connell hailed the four-time former champions for having "class across the park", but backed his Munster side to bounce back from a 22-18 loss to Irish rivals Leinster in the Pro12 last weekend.

Toulouse travel to Limerick, where Munster have an impressive home record.

"It's amazing that it's the first time they've come here," said O'Connell.

"They've been to plenty of hostile grounds in the past so I don't think it will be any big deal for them.

"It probably makes it a brilliant occasion for Munster and the Munster supporters, for the Heineken Cup itself - to have Munster and Toulouse playing a game in Thomond Park is a massive occasion."

But O'Connell predicted a tough run-out against a team that sits in seventh in the Top 14.

"If you look at Toulouse, the quality of player they have, the size of the men they have, it's an absolutely mammoth task for us," said the 34-year-old lock.

"It's great to be at home but it's an incredible team with incredible players and incredible talent, it's just a massive uphill task for us.

"They've so many flair players who can play off the cuff. They play an incredible off-loading game. As weather gets drier and pitches get harder, that will suit them."

O'Connell put Munster's loss to Leinster down to a "really poor performance" that showed up a lack of accuracy and execution.

"Against teams like Leinster, when you get the ball, you need to keep it and make it count," he said.

"I don't think we've played particularly well in a long time.

"I find it hard to put my hands on any big performances from us in recent months."

An additional problem was Toulouse's unpredictability and talent throughout the side.

"They've got big men, incredibly skilful men, there's talent all over the pitch," he said.

"There are certain teams you can analyse and you can plan to try and stop what they're going to do.

"With Toulouse, the way they play and the style of rugby they have makes it very hard to predict what they're going to do and plan for that and that makes it very difficult.

"They struggle at times, but I think they're in some ways a little bit like the French team, they have class across the park.

"And on the really big days, I think they're probably one of the best, if not the best, teams in the competition.

"Maybe that's because in Munster and Ireland we've such an affinity with the Heineken Cup and we're so used to watching Toulouse and their incredible style of rugby."

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale13:00
Castres vs Leinster15:15
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles19:45
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Brive vs Zebre19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade FrancaisTBC
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615