heavy toll

Munster concerned over injuries as Rassie rues poor exit kicks against Cardiff

However, Keith Earls and Conor Murray are set to return next weekend.

Murray Kinsella reports from Musgrave Park

MUNSTER WILL WAIT anxiously for the results of tests on Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell and Rory Scannell after all three were forced off injured in this evening’s 24-23 defeat to Cardiff in Cork.

CJ Stander dejected at the end of the match Billy Stickland / INPHO Munster were beaten in Cork. Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Director of Rassie Erasmus will be hoping that three of his most important players will not be sidelined long-term, after he lost Simon Zebo to a five-week rib injury last weekend.

Out-half Tyler Bleyendaal was also unavailable for selection against Cardiff due to a calf strain, and Erasmus was frustrated by the three fresh injuries.

“We haven’t had two great weeks, but I guess it’s the same for other teams,” said the South African post-match in Cork.

Dave Foley looks like a pretty serious elbow injury. Rory I think was a head or neck knock so that’s something you must be very careful with and get his scans done. Tommy was also a head knock, so we’ll see on Monday how those guys are.”

More positively, Munster will have Ireland internationals Conor Murray and Keith Earls available for next weekend’s visit to the Dragons, while captain Peter O’Mahony is also close to his return.

Erasmus felt Cardiff had earned their one-point win in Cork tonight, as he picked out two poor kicks as crucial in deciding the game.

“I think they deserved it at the end,” said Erasmus. “They really flooded our breakdown and when there were holes for us to pick from in attack, we didn’t get the ball back from the breakdown.

Dan Fish scores a try Billy Stickland / INPHO Dan Fish's decisive score came from kick return. Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

“Tactically, they played really smart. It was very, very disappointing but they did probably deserve it more.

“In the beginning, when we were kicking it around the 10-metre lines, we were kicking really well. I think we struggled to get out of our 22 and that’s not pinned onto the guys kicking the ball – he was getting pressure from the defence charging down and we didn’t probably protect him enough.

“It’s a team effort and it’s not only the 10 or 9. We certainly struggled and I think two of the tries they scored were from poor executions out of our 22.”

Despite the defeat, Erasmus maintained a positive attitude afterwards, underlining that some of Munster’s young players had gained valuable experience.

We’re going to learn from putting the young guys in,” said Erasmus. “Bowzer [Cian Bohane] and Dan [Goggin] playing tonight against these guys definitely would have learned a lot.

“On the other hand, it’s bad to lose at home. Look, we’ll lose a few games by being risky.

“Brian Scott got some game time today, [Darren] Sweetnam is getting better. The only way they’ll get better is by playing teams like these. The experienced guys understand that you can’t lose home games like this and the young lads will learn from that.”

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