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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 20 January, 2019

Munster positive about POM's ankle but frustrated at missed chance

Johann van Graan is content that Munster’s destiny is in their own hands ahead of next weekend.

Murray Kinsella reports from the U Arena

MUNSTER ARE HOPEFUL that Peter O’Mahony will recover swiftly from an ankle injury that forced him off the pitch during the second half of their 34-30 defeat to Racing 92 in Paris.

Peter O'Mahony runs at Ben Tameifuna 14/1/2018 The initial outlook on O'Mahony is positive. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

O’Mahony was replaced by Jack O’Donoghue in the 56th minute of the clash at the U Arena but Munster say he was walking freely in the changing room afterwards and the player reports that he is suffering little pain.

It remains to be seen if O’Mahony will be fit to play in next weekend’s crucial final Champions Cup pool clash against Castres at Thomond Park, but Munster’s initial outlook is positive.

Munster head coach Johann van Graan said afterwards that the defeat to Racing was “most definitely” one that got away from the province, who led twice in the closing stages of a frenetic encounter.

“I thought on 74 minutes we had control of the game,” said van Graan, referring to when Munster had pushed into a 30-28 lead thanks to Conor Murray’s long-range penalty.

“They did very well off that kick-off and after that one was short, we kicked long, and maybe our kick execution put us under a bit of pressure.

Johann van Graan and CJ Stander after the game Van Graan has some regrets but is positive overall. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“We’re very disappointed because we didn’t get this win. The players worked so hard preparing for very different circumstances out there but we’re very happy with the losing bonus point.”

Van Graan reflected on the opening periods in both halves with some regret, Munster having conceded tries in both cases, but he is happy that his players at least have the chance to seal a quarter-final spot next weekend against Castres.

“That’s the beauty of this competition,” said van Graan. “It’s the first time I’ve been involved in this competition and even watching the games last night, every single minute matters from the first against Castres right through to the last against Castres now.

“It’s pretty simple: we go back to Thomond Park, we start at zero, we prepare well and if we win we’ve got a quarter-final.”

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Murray Kinsella

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