Anthony Foley breathing a sigh of relief

Munster secured Champions Cup rugby next season with a win at Thomond

Anthony Foley breathing a sigh of relief

Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Munster coach Anthony Foley feels the pressure has been lifted from the shoulders of his side after their 31-15 defeat of Llanelli Scarlets this afternoon at Thomond Park.

Foely has been in the firing line after a disappointing season which saw them miss out on a Pro12 play-off place and limp out of Europe at the pool stages, but he feels today is a result that they can build upon for next season. 

A bonus point win secured Champions Cup rugby for the southern province, and the ex-Irish international was pleased with how his young side coped with their nerves. 

"There's a lot of relief in the dressing-room," said Foley.

"You saw a lot of nerves out there, there was a lot of indecision and young guys who were carrying the weight of having to qualify for the Champions Cup.

Munster’s Rory Scannell and Jack O'Donoghue after the match
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"Hopefully, the kind of experience the have gained in the last couple of weeks will help them in the future when hopefully they can be challenging for trophies instead of just trying to qualify for the Champions Cup.

"We have been missing a lot of players, Mark Chisholm, Peter O'Mahony, BJ Botha, Denis Hurley Felix Jones, there are five players straight off who weren't with us and it is understandable that we're lacking players. But the guys who came in did really well for us.

"We did really well in this game at half-time to be 14-12 ahead, it gave us some breathing space which was vital because we didn't hold on to the ball that well in the first-half.

"It is always better to be in possession because then your actions dictate the game. They have a high tempo game but we executed on the back of a couple of turnovers which was a big help."