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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 17 March, 2018

Frustrated Conor Murray says Munster 'need to come right quite quickly'

‘It’s not good enough,’ said the Ireland international scrum-half after defeat to the Ospreys.

Murray, Munster captain for the evening, was highly frustrated by his side's display.
Murray, Munster captain for the evening, was highly frustrated by his side's display.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

MUNSTER SCRUM-HALF Conor Murray says his side need to find form urgently after they went down to a second home defeat of the season in the Guinness Pro12.

The Ospreys emerged from Thomond Park with a 19-14 victory to continue their own excellent start to the league campaign, but Murray was visibly frustrated by Munster’s performance.

With a derby clash to come against Leinster next weekend, and the Champions Cup pool stages looming in October, Anthony Foley’s men must find top form soon.

Defeat to the Ospreys compounds the opening day loss to Edinburgh and adds to the sense of Thomond Park losing its fortress status.

“[It's] hugely disappointed,” said Murray at the Limerick venue. “As good as the Ospreys are, we still need to be able to get up for these home games and put a performance together.

We seem to be making the same mistakes consistently and it’s not good enough. It needs to come right quite quickly. I said it before, there’s no better week to get it right than against Leinster.

“It’s going to be a long week, a frustrating week, but we’ve a huge game to look forward to and to try and get it right.  We’re heading into pretty big games, and that was a big game tonight, the start of it. It’s a big week of training to get under our belts and try to rectify these mistakes.”

Murray was particularly unhappy with the way Munster – whom he captained in Limerick – conceded the same types of penalty throughout the clash, allowing Dan Biggar to rifle over four penalties, as well as his conversion of Jeff Hassler’s first-half try.

Conor Murray dejected after the game Murray cut a dejected figure post-match in Limerick. Source: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

“It was quite frustrating out there,” said Murray. “We did have a chat at half time about the type of penalty we were giving away and said we wouldn’t give those penalties away again. We did, and that’s one of the areas we need to improve on.

“We know how good Biggar is – it wasn’t the plan to go out and let him have pot shots at goal. That’s one big area we need to improve on.”

“It’s not good enough,” underlined Murray again. “It’s something that can be fixed and it shouldn’t happen. I know the Ospreys are in a rich vein of form, and they’ve scored 16 tries this season so far [coming into this game], and you look at the Edinburgh game – that wasn’t good enough either.

These are things that aren’t good enough. The players are fully aware of that, the coaching staff are there to help us get through it. I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis, but it’s definitely very, very frustrating and it needs to come right quickly.”

Munster announced a crowd of 13,547 at Thomond Park, but that figure again appeared to include all season ticket holders, some of whom were clearly not present. The All-Ireland hurling final replay was a factor in another low attendance, but Murray says his team need to provide a better reason for fans to turn up.

“It’s not good enough. Losing to Edinburgh on the opening day probably set the tone for the supporters. We’ve got to give them something to support, you know?

“In other clubs at the minute, they’re putting good performances together and they’re getting their grounds pretty full. It doesn’t matter what opposition they’re playing, they’re just playing good brands of rugby and exciting their crowd. We need to start doing that.”

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