O’Mahony: ‘We made Axel proud’

Date published: October 23 2016

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony says his team’s performance against Glasgow on Saturday would have made Anthony Foley proud.

The club capped off a difficult week with an emphatic 38-17 victory over the Warriors at a sold-out Thomond Park which O’Mahony said would have made “Axel proud”.

Munster rode the wave of emotion to claim a bonus-point win despite playing for an hour with 14 men after Keith Earls was sent off for an early tip-tackle.

“It was a tough day for everyone but I think we got through it as a squad just as Axel would have wanted,” O’Mahony said.

“The fans have always been our 16th man and they showed up today for a massive occasion. We played the way Axel would have wanted and we hope we did him proud.

“He would have wanted us to play the game and would have wanted us to go out and express ourselves. From one to 23 and beyond, they all stepped up to the occasion.”

Tyler Bleyendaal, on his Champions Cup debut, kicked off a Man of the Match performance and a devastating team display with the first of Munster’s five tries after just three minutes.

The Kiwi fly-half said: “It was a very tough week but we stuck together, we were there in support of the family and community and we knew once we got on the pitch there would be a lot of emotion to let go but we had a job to do and Axel would have wanted us to do him proud.

“It was a great experience to be a part of because the support that everyone here has shown for a true legend and his family, there was so much respect and honour out there that we were just privileged to play in his honour.”

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend said: “I was surprised and disappointed that we just didn’t turn up. Munster clearly did and played some excellent rugby but we were really poor in both defence and attack.

“We have to look at the way we prepared for this game and we have to start with ourselves as coaches to see why we didn’t have the players in the right mind-set to play their best. That was not a true showing of this team because we were well below our best.”