Johann van Graan has hailed repeat PRO14 champions Leinster as a phenomenal rugby team but he added that it is never good enough for a trophy-starved Munster to lose a final. Creatively limited at the RDS, Munster lost out 16-6 in the latest Guinness final, a defeat that continues their decade-long stretch without silverware.

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Having somehow managed to keep their line intact in the opening half and making it to the break level at six-all, Munster’s scrum cracked early in the second half and there was no way back after they conceded the final’s only try to Jack Conan on 47 minutes.

“They are an excellent rugby team and they scored one try, we scrambled really well and we currently can’t get past them,” admitted van Grann in the aftermath of what was the 16th defeat for Munster in their last 17 away matches versus Leinster in Dublin. 

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Jack Nowell guests on the latest RugbyPass Offload with Simon Zebo and Jamie Roberts

“No team can currently get past them. That is not good enough for us to lose in a final. We came here to win and we believed that we could but fair play to them, they have won four PRO14s in a row. 

“They are very good, they are exceptionally good. If you have got 15 players I think it was (13 in fact) in this 23 that played against England last week, their depth if you just look at that bench they are a phenomenal rugby team. You have to give it to them. They are currently the best by a mile.

“From a pressure point of view they kept us pinned just outside of our 22 and they won two big battles, they won the battle in the air and they won the battle at the scrum and we just couldn’t get access to their 22. In terms of playing, we didn’t get a chance to because we got pinned.”

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Adding to the disappointment of this latest Munster setback is they could now potentially be without skipper Peter O’Mahony for next Saturday’s round of 16 Heineken Champions Cup match at home to Toulouse. “He is struggling a bit. He has got a deep cut to his leg. We will know a bit more later but it didn’t look good.”

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