JOHANN VAN GRAAN said his Munster side had “no excuses” after last night’s humiliating home defeat by Leinster.
And the South African will now have to pick up the pieces for two crucial fortnights in his final season as the Irish provinces find themselves in a two-legged battle with Premier League side Exeter Chiefs this week.
It looks like they will be without star No. 8 Gavin Coombes, who hobbled away with an ankle injury in the 19:34 loss. He will go for scans this week and could join a worryingly long injury list.
First and foremost, van Graan will address the moments of indiscipline that cost his team dearly.
“A frustrating one,” he said of the game.
“You were too good tonight. Our discipline in the first 20, we didn’t adapt quickly enough and gave away six breakdown penalties in the first half. That got them in, their first attempt is a direct result of that.
“They’re a championship team. We went back up the lead 12-11 after 38 minutes and we give them a 50-22 (kick), we get the ball back, our scrum and they counter-jerk and we concede at half-time. ” -Time, which was frustrating.
“I felt like they took the game from us between the 48th and 60th minutes, two very good tries. We came back in the 69th minute, 10 points in the game and distorted an alley. We got to the end fought, that was’ no problem I think we played well but if you give them access they punish you.
“We are incredibly disappointed to have lost at Thomond Park.
“We had a really good week, we prepared well, no excuses from our side.
“If you give them access, you will lose. We’re in Europe now, which will be different for all 16 teams, the fact that it’s two legs.
“In the URC, the way the games went tonight, the game between us and Belfast in three weeks’ time will have a massive impact on where we end up in the knockout stages if we’re good enough to get there to get.”
Speaking of Coombes’ injury, van Graan said: “It’s an ankle injury, obviously he’s going to get checked out.
“We’ve picked up a couple of injuries in the last few weeks, he’s obviously a very important player for us. You saw early in the game that I thought he played really well. It’s a big concern for us, huh is ahead of us.”
Leinster manager Leo Cullen was delighted with elements of the bonus point win which puts his side in control of their destiny at the United Rugby Championship and is in fine form for the Champions Cup Round of 16 match against Connacht, but as always the former second tier want more of the same his side.
“While there was a lot of good stuff, there were still a lot of things we could improve on, so we’ll probably take care of that now. The most important thing is the attitude of the guys who come back here,” he said.
“The lads that have been here (during the six-nation window) have played seven games in nine weeks and I felt they did a really good job and improved week in and week out. So it was great to have all these international guys coming back.
“It creates competition. They were a good match but that’s because of the hard work during the week.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/munster-rugby/no-excuses-johann-van-graan-laments-poor-discipline-as-munster-sweat-on-coombes-injury-after-leinster-loss-41515892.html ‘No excuses’ – Johann van Graan laments a lack of discipline while Munster sweats after Leinster’s defeat with Coombes’ injury