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Van Graan remains calm despite shut-out loss to Exeter

The South African felt his side created enough chances in the final friendly before the Pro14 kicks off.

Rob Baxter with Johann van Graan
Rob Baxter with Johann van Graan
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

JOHANN VAN GRAAN isn’t ready to push the panic button after their pre-season ended with a dismal 12-0 loss at home to Exeter Chiefs.

Munster will open their Pro14 campaign at home to the Cheetahs on Saturday and van Graan is confident they can hit the ground running.

His understrength side failed to hit the target in Cork against an Exeter side they will face in the Champions Cup in October.

We had a lot of Academy guys out there, a lot of third and fourth choice players out there and a lot of them had a really good game. That’s the thing about experience, about continuity, and there are a number of good lessons which will have been learned.

“The frustrating thing about this game is that we probably created more opportunities than the opposition but their patience on the tackle was really good.

“This was a strange game in that the first half we spent almost all of the 40 minutes in our own half. And the second, we spent most in their half but just couldn’t score,” said the South African.

Van Graan remains confident that he has the strength in his squad to cover the international windows as well as injuries, although he isn’t facing selection dilemmas next weekend given the number unavailable to him.

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“I wouldn’t say selection headaches; I don’t have huge options, currently we only have three wingers, for instance, training with us. But it’s a long season and we’re going to use lots of guys, we used 50 or more last season, so you have to give these people the opportunity to play,” added van Graan.

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John Fallon

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