Wednesday Apr 10, 2013 James Downey's huge hit on Mike Brown at The Stoop

James Downey's huge hit on Mike Brown at The Stoop
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The Munster midfield duo of James Downey and Casey Laulala may not be the youngest around, but against Harlequins at the weekend they imposed themselves physically, playing a major role in the 18-12 Heineken Cup Quarter Final victory at The Stoop.

Downey, who played five seasons at Northampton Saints, returned to England with one of the tackles of the weekend, halting fullback Mike Brown’s progress in no uncertain terms.

It was perhaps indicative of the attitude and commitment Munster had on the day, coming back from a PRO12 loss to Glasgow, looking to make ammends and throw everything into this fixture.

“We just imposed ourselves on them physically. We said we wanted to do that. Obviously, English teams are normally physical and we had to step up and increase the intensity,” said Downey.

“It was a great game to be involved in. ROG said it after and Paulie said it, that’s the way Munster are, that’s the way Munster play, that’s the Munster game and it’s great to be part of it.

“It went well and I got my hands on the ball early, I wanted to do that. I made some tackles as well. That’s a big part of my game and I’m glad it paid off. It is the kind of game I like, it suited my sort of style. There is a time and a place for it, it is a fine balance,” said the big centre.

Speaking yesterday at a recovery session at the University of Limerick, Downey said that it was a unique day to be a part of. “At the end of the game when you are walking around and seeing so many Munster fans, wondering where they got all the tickets!

“I don’t know where they got them from to be honest. But that’s it, that’s what makes these days.

“As Paulie said, when you go out there you find someone in the crowd and look at them and you see what it means to them. They had paid good money to get over there and get the tickets; you have to produce for them, that’s what it’s all about.”

It was a fantastic European win for Munster, but the two-times champions now need to switch focus back to the RaboDirect Pro12, and their crunch Thomond Park clash with Leinster this Saturday.

“I think we have just got to keep it going. We need a couple of back-to-backs wins and no better game to have than Leinster to be honest. That Harlequins game was a full performance, but it is about backing it up now and we have to back it up this week.

“We still have a chance of making the Pro12 play-offs. It’s a long shot, but the chance is there and we haven’t beaten them in a while. It’s time we put that right, especially at home,” he said.

Munster face Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup Semi Finals on Saturday, 27th April

Harlequins vs Munster Highlights | Heineken Cup Quarter Final highlights

10 Comments

  •  themull
    themull

    people might finally see why Ireland miss him so much too..A lot of what POC does is unseen..He's not known for running guys over or making huge hits..He puts in an enormous amount of work in the tackle area and carries a lot of the dirty ball in order to set up the enxt real phase of attack.. Perhaps the most important aspect of having him around though is simply organisation..The line out is imeasurably better for both Munster and Ireland when he is the one leading the pack...They are a much more organized unit and a lot of the silly stupid mistakes which have crept into the Munster and Irish game (in both set and open play) as of late can be helped if he returns to the fold.. Another few performances like this one and he could be wearing 4 or 5 for the Lions..

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Absolute beauty of a tackle. Brown did incredibly well to absorb the hit and set the ball up. But Munster were quicker to react and dislodged the ball before any ruck was formed, so no offside as far as I see it.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Frightening how influential one player can be.

    Reply
  •  macmurchu
    macmurchu

    Nope, no ruck formed. By the time any Quins player got there there were three Munster lads going for it

    Reply
  •  number7
    number7

    Brown's body position on the floor is perfect. Because he's positioned himself lateral and not horizontal the gate is only half a foot which means all the Munster players in this clip are effectively offside. Should therefore be a penalty to Harliquins. Anyone else agree?!

    Reply
  •  connachtman
    connachtman

    ROG as imposing as ever LOL, couldn't tackle a bag of crisps.... Munster's ground and pound dead boring to watch, but it gets them the win, Clermont a much tougher beast...

    Reply
  • Agreed, all hes done has performed well in the hec over the years, Europes top Colin competition. Maybe a regime change?

    Reply
  •  ravens6
    ravens6

    Would love to see the tracker stats on that hit.... has to be car crash territory. solid hit and fair play to Brown getting to his feet so quick. fantastic game from both sides.

    Reply
  • Downey has always been a good solid 12. Does the hard yards and is strong in defence. Surprised he's not been involved in the Irish setup more often.

    Reply
  • Ouch! Good win Munster, now lets see the game highlights RD

    Reply

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James Downey's huge hit on Mike Brown at The Stoop | RugbyDump