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'Christ, that’s going to sting for a while, I’m not going to lie'

By Liam Heagney
Dejected Munster players (from left) Jack Crowley, Alex Kendellen and Peter O'Mahony (Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Graham Rowntree sounded devastated in his post-game TV interview after Munster were dethroned as United Rugby Championship champions. The Irish side were heavily tipped to qualify for the final and host the Bulls next Saturday in Limerick.

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However, their ambition to win back-to-back league titles for the first time came a cropper as Glasgow pulled off the 17-10 ambush at Thomond Park that now has them heading to South Africa to play in the decider.  

Despite dominating first-half possession and territory, Munster trailed 7-3 at the interval and they went on to find themselves 14-3 behind on 50 minutes even though the Warriors were twice yellow carded by that stage.

Rowntree’s side eventually cut the margin with a converted Antoine Frisch try but a red card for Alex Nankivell, which resulted in George Horne’s 74th-minute penalty kick, settled the outcome in favour of the Warriors.

“Christ, that’s going to sting for a while, I’m not going to lie to you,” fumed Rowntree post-game.  “You have got to take your chances in this game. Cruel. Didn’t take our chances first half with all that territory and possession and then they got that loose try.

Attack

229
Passes
132
127
Ball Carries
117
235m
Post Contact Metres
243m
4
Line Breaks
4

“The second half was a similarly looking try for them. We got down near their line and we weren’t accurate enough and we were trying to force things too much.

“We’ll look at ourselves. I am immensely proud of where we finished this year. We topped the league, we earned ourselves a home semi-final. But that’s sport, you know, it’s cruel. They took their chances better than us.  

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“The future is bright the guys we have got coming through. There are a few guys moving on who deserved better than what we gave them tonight but that’s sport. They’ll move on, we’ll move on. This is going to sting and rightly so for a long time. You get yourself a home semi-final and then to not get the job done, that’s going to sting. But we have to live with that.”

Munster legend David Wallace claimed that recent workmanlike performances ultimately haunted Rowntree’s charges. Speaking on Premier Sports, he said: “It’s really tough for him and what a great season they have had. In November they were 11th in the league and then they came back and finished top. To get to the knockout stages and just not fire on all cylinders is really hard.

“From the coaching perspective, they were probably doing all the right things and ultimately maybe the players catching a ball, I mean you can’t coach for that when it gets to this stage of the season.

“Are the players going to go out there and pull the trigger and be decisive and clinical when it comes to it? For the coaching staff, you feel a bit sorry for them but sometimes that happens.

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“Munster lost a little bit of momentum coming into the end of the season and just too many errors crept in. We maybe glossed over it a little bit, they glossed over it being a little workmanlike in those games, getting the wins but ultimately they need to be putting in the big performances as well to really knock out these big teams.”

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Comments

8 Comments
T
T-Bone 31 days ago

Tight game and Glasgow deserved it but I really don’t think much about both teams

Munster look very ordinary and limited in attack

Glasgow will get hammered by the Bulls who were really good value against a Leinster team who threw everything but ran out of ideas

A
Almi 32 days ago

Great hard fought game though Munster couldn’t take their chances. Peter O’Mahony looked more like spoiling for a fight at times than getting to the URC Final.

s
sean 32 days ago

They got away with playing badly for a month but we’re found out yoday

V
Vellies 32 days ago

Maybe they should've taken that no 6 from Munster off… he didn't really do anything.

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