Casey: Younger players aren’t happy to sit back and be second comers

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By the time the adrenaline had eased off and Craig Casey had gotten his breath back, he took a more measured approach in his later post-match duties.

n the immediate aftermath of Munster’s convincing 42-17 win over the Sharks on Saturday, man-of-the-match Casey boldly told the Thomond Park crowd that it was about time his side won a trophy.

Those who were still inside the stadium roared in approval and even though Casey slightly rowed back on his assertion, his youthful enthusiasm provided a brief insight into the determined mindset of the new crop now helping to lead the charge.

“I might have got a bit ahead of myself,” Casey smiled. “But it’s definitely something we’re striving for. I mean, we don’t go into any season not thinking that we want to win trophies. That’s the ultimate goal.

“We want to win every trophy. Obviously last year was a bit disappointing. We got close a few times but of course we want to be at the end of the season, winning trophies.”

As Johann van Graan put it after watching his side get their United Rugby Championship campaign off to a good start, Casey is a “driver” – not just in terms of himself, but those around him too.

That kind of attitude can be infectious within a squad, with Munster captain Peter O’Mahony admitting that hunger and intensity is being driven by the younger age group, including Casey and Gavin Coombes.

“I think it’s a brilliant squad at the minute,” Casey said.

“Even just in terms of bonds off the field. I think we’re all really close, we’re getting there. I think we’ve taken massive strides over the last year and a bit.

“Everyone loves coming in, being around each other. There’s no real cliques around the place. Everyone can get on with each other. I think that’s the best thing about it. Now, we’re ready I think.

“The senior lads are driving us around the place but obviously we’re driving them as well. We’re not happy to sit back and be second comers as well I think. Everyone wants to win trophies here.

“Murr (Conor Murray) was with the Lions so he’s off for the next five or so weeks, but over pre-season there’s been a lot of competition between the nines. 

“The goals over the last few weeks and the next weeks is to get a few wins under our belt, but obviously get match-time and try to rip it up every time I get an opportunity.”