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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

'You can never take for granted getting five points away from home'

Munster yielded a maximum return from a far from perfect display.

Billy Holland and Peter O'Mahony celebrate post-match.
Billy Holland and Peter O'Mahony celebrate post-match.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

THERE WILL BE improvements to be made and a few areas to fine-tune, but Munster have enough European rugby muscle memory to know that bonus points can be invaluable in this tournament.

Players will have been aware of the expectations around the opening round clash with a Pro14 struggler, but there was nobody lamenting the hard 84-minute shift needed to drive a fourth try over against Ospreys.

“They’re a very physical side and I think you saw from their maul attack is was very good. We found it difficult to stop,” said Peter O’Mahony, fresh from his 11 carries and nine tackles in the Liberty Stadium.

I said to the lads inside: you can never take for granted getting five points away from home in this competition.

“It’s a difficult, difficult thing to do.”

The difficulty arose for a variety of reasons. Pressure from a team putting its pride on the line in the midst of a horrible season, attacking errors as the visitors are still building cohesion through returning internationals and a third-choice out-half. Not to mention a penalty count from Karl Dickson that rose to 15 by the finish.

“Credit to the players who remained calm. It doesn’t matter when you score your tries as long as you get four,” said head coach Johann van Graan.

O’Mahony added:

“Parts were very good but we’ve a lot to work on. I thought they played quite well, they put us under a lot of pressure in the first half. We got very little attacking platform – certainly line-out wise – it didn’t feel like we had a huge amount of platform.

“I thought we defended quite well but one thing for me was the discipline – certainly away from home it’s something we’d hang our hat on but we were ill-disciplined if anything. But our attack shape was good at times.”

It will be better for this outing. And Munster’s pool chances will be all the better for the fifth point.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell  / Reports from The Liberty Stadium

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