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O’Connell admits Heineken Cup is never plain sailing for Munster

Guinness PRO12 Editor

7 Nov 2011

Munster captain Paul O’Connell is adamant his side can bounce back from last Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 defeat to arch rivals Leinster to get their Heineken Cup campaign off the ground – but he acknowledges the pool stages will not be plain sailing.

O’Connell was making his second RaboDirect PRO12 appearance of the season in Dublin but could not help his side collect a first victory at the Aviva Stadium for ten years.

And he’s only too aware that Tony McGahan’s men must raise their game if they’re to make a winning start to their European adventures in Limerick this weekend.

But even if Northampton get the better of his side, O’Connell insists it is not time to push the panic button, despite failing to reach the quarter-finals last year.

“In the past we never sailed through a group,” said O’Connell.

“We rarely, if ever from my recollection, sailed through a group. We always had bad defeats but we just had to make sure we rallied and we came back.

“There were ups and downs in every group stage and that's what we've got to realise this year, there's going to be ups and downs and it is a bit of a dogfight to get out of the pool, particularly when you are in a very strong pool like we are and you need to fight for every single point.

“That's what we will be doing this year."