Rob Penney salutes 'compelling performance' as Munster reach last eight
Munster coach Rob Penney was thrilled with a "compelling performance" in recording a bonus-point win over Racing Metro.
Last Updated: 20/01/13 8:10pm
The 29-6 victory at Thomond Park booked Munster a trip to Harlequins in the quarter-finals as one of the two best pool runners-up - and ensured defending champions Leinster bowed out.
The key moment of the match came after just six minutes when Racing flanker Antoine Battut was sent off for kneeing Tommy O'Donnell and Munster dominated the match with winger Simon Zebo scoring a hat-trick.
"We were up against some pretty resilient opposition and the boys delivered a pretty compelling performance at times," Penney said.
"We made a couple of errors early on and that was on the back of being a bit anxious and wanting to do well. It took us a bit of time to settle into the game, probably longer than we would have liked.
"Once we got into our rhythm, I thought at times we were compelling. We looked very efficient.
"Our mental preparation and ability to stay focused for the whole 80 minutes was something we were going to need today. The relentlessness we were seeking was there."
Penney admitted that failure to reach the quarter-finals would have led to some severe criticism.
"If we hadn't (reached the quarter-finals) the people would be in the long grass, there would have been a lot of bullets being fired," Penney said.
"If we hadn't gotten the outcome today, I would have been still proud of the progress we are making and the areas of growth we are getting.
"I really believe in this team and the direction it is going."
Penney agreed that the early dismissal of Battut was key: "I haven't really seen the incident which led to the red card. The referee saw something there and adjudicated based on what he saw.
"Without doubt it had a bearing on the game. Any time you lose a player and are down to 14, you are up against it."