Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

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mildlyinterested
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by mildlyinterested »

TRK's latest - Munster shouldn't have been expected to compete with Leinster this season because Kilcoyne, Snyman and Carbery were injured. Also if Exeter had kicked better they'd have beaten Leinster.

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munster#1
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Right, with all the hysteria over Zebo now settled, and everyone has accepted that it is a great signing of a great player, it is worth giving some time to Munster’s other signing this week.

Munster have appointed Ian Costello, as academy manager. The former UL bohs head coach, Munster U20, Munster A and Munster Senior assistant coach, as well as IRFU elite player development officer. Most recently Ian held the role of head coach at Nottingham and Defence coach at Wasps.

Ian is just the lad that Munster need to continue the to improve the Munster academy system, which has shown remarkable improvement over the last 2 seasons.

IMO Ian is probably over qualified for this role, and could well of hoped to remain as a senior coach for a big club, but I suspect the lure of home had brought him to this role.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by blockhead »

mildlyinterested wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 9:44 am
TRK's latest - Munster shouldn't have been expected to compete with Leinster this season because Kilcoyne, Snyman and Carbery were injured. Also if Exeter had kicked better they'd have beaten Leinster.
I think he's just fishing now.
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by fourthirtythree »

mildlyinterested wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 9:23 am
munster#1 wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 9:15 am
the spoofer wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 8:33 am


I wonder “what’s the story” with Shane Daly. He was a serious upwards trajectory.
He spent the best part of the season holding tackle bags in the Irish camp.
It would have been far better if he was left in the Munster camp to play games.
didnt seem to hurt some other irish players.
Indeed. It seems to have been a problem unique to him.
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

fourthirtythree wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 10:13 am
mildlyinterested wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 9:23 am
munster#1 wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 9:15 am

He spent the best part of the season holding tackle bags in the Irish camp.
It would have been far better if he was left in the Munster camp to play games.
didnt seem to hurt some other irish players.
Indeed. It seems to have been a problem unique to him.
Look, it’s just an opinion.
There are many factors which would impact on a players form, and for me I think that it may be because he is a player who is still learning the game, and he had his minutes on field reduced due to time away from the Munster camp.
In addition to this, whilst with the Irish team he barely seen the field on match days.

It may be that he didn’t get minutes on the field, or it could be that he struggled to adjust from the style of play in the Irish camp when he returned to Munster due to lack of experience, or it could be for a number of reasons.

It is easy to come on and say that a posters opinion is wrong, but it appears that it is not so easy to add to the conversation by presenting an alternative rugby related input.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by JB1973 »

Bit late to this but good to Zebo coming back to munster must be a plus, genuine attacking threat and will have learnt some things in that racing set up

Type of player fans to pay see (hopefully we will be allowed back in next season)

What's the deal with snyman and when will he be fit?

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by The Doc »

hugonaut wrote:
April 15th, 2021, 8:57 pm
Zebo is a good player and Munster fans love him. Was fullback a big position of need for them? No it wasn't. They'll wind up with a bit of wastage in the back three, but to be honest they had that once they signed Gallagher.
munster#1 wrote:
April 15th, 2021, 6:33 pm
Yes I would rather have seen Munster sign .... or a big dynamic hooker, but they were not options.
The announcement doesn't specify which position he'll play.... just sayin'
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

JB1973 wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 10:48 am
Bit late to this but good to Zebo coming back to munster must be a plus, genuine attacking threat and will have learnt some things in that racing set up

Type of player fans to pay see (hopefully we will be allowed back in next season)

What's the deal with snyman and when will he be fit?
Great signing alright, and will add some great quality to the Munster squad, and as you say, he will put bums on seats.

There is hope that Snyman can return before the end of the rainbow cup, but I am hearing that this more hope than expectation.

With the return of Zebo and Snyman, and the signing of JJ, Munster have 3 players who will add great strength to their squad.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by fourthirtythree »

munster#1 wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 10:30 am

Look, it’s just an opinion.
There are many factors which would impact on a players form, and for me I think that it may be because he is a player who is still learning the game, and he had his minutes on field reduced due to time away from the Munster camp.
In addition to this, whilst with the Irish team he barely seen the field on match days.
I was raving about the guy at the start of the year so I had gone onto Shelbyville to see where he'd disappeared to and the consensus was that training with Ireland ruined his season.

Or maybe, just as a forinstance, Munster signed Haley in front of him (fair enough, he was young and Zebo gone and all, I didn't really rate Haley that highly to be honest) and then they signed Gallagher (I guess he became available but another guy at Haley's kind of level) and this year they sign the best fullback Munster produced.

Maybe Daly has a very different problem to the Irish camp rating him highly enough to bring him into their squad to train at the highest level? A much more, even blindingly, obvious problem?
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by LeRouxIsPHat »

Daly has a fair few issues with his game IMO. He's a poor defender, overruns the ball a lot, and often panics on it just to try and make something happen, even in his own 22 when you think he should kick and suddenly fires a pass out to someone who isn't expecting it or tries to run it out and just runs into trouble. Then further up the pitch the same thing happens with offloads that shouldn't be happening. His awareness is poor as well and he often chips ahead when he's in space instead of using the players around him or just holding onto it and tying in the defender.

He's quick, good in the air, and despite what I said above I think it's great that he wants to me things happen, but it's not much use if you're a poor decision maker.

He could certainly improve with game time but there are an awful lot of things to iron out.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by paddyor »

munster#1 wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 9:15 am
the spoofer wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 8:33 am
hugonaut wrote:
April 15th, 2021, 8:57 pm
Zebo is a good player and Munster fans love him. Was fullback a big position of need for them? No it wasn't. They'll wind up with a bit of wastage in the back three, but to be honest they had that once they signed Gallagher.
I wonder “what’s the story” with Shane Daly. He was a serious upwards trajectory.
He spent the best part of the season holding tackle bags in the Irish camp.
It would have been far better if he was left in the Munster camp to play games.
Interesting the way the narrative around this has changed. Seems like only 5 years ago(damn) bringing guys to camp so they could learn was a huge complaint about Schmidts Ireland squads. I agree about holding tackle bags btw.
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by ronk »

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 4:08 pm
Daly has a fair few issues with his game IMO. He's a poor defender, overruns the ball a lot, and often panics on it just to try and make something happen, even in his own 22 when you think he should kick and suddenly fires a pass out to someone who isn't expecting it or tries to run it out and just runs into trouble. Then further up the pitch the same thing happens with offloads that shouldn't be happening. His awareness is poor as well and he often chips ahead when he's in space instead of using the players around him or just holding onto it and tying in the defender.

He's quick, good in the air, and despite what I said above I think it's great that he wants to me things happen, but it's not much use if you're a poor decision maker.

He could certainly improve with game time but there are an awful lot of things to iron out.
I think Daly is naturally very talented and tries to play that way. But
he has a lot to work on in his game.

He was brought into squad and I'd guess Farrell figured that out pretty quickly and gave him homework. It stuck out that Connors and Keenan bolted but Daly went nowhere and Daly was left with a loss of confidence and not a lot of time to play back into form.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by Twist »

He might benefit from getting the same coaching at club level that Keenan gets. For the good of Irish rugby.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by Sugary tae »

fourthirtythree wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 3:28 pm
munster#1 wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 10:30 am

Look, it’s just an opinion.
There are many factors which would impact on a players form, and for me I think that it may be because he is a player who is still learning the game, and he had his minutes on field reduced due to time away from the Munster camp.
In addition to this, whilst with the Irish team he barely seen the field on match days.
I was raving about the guy at the start of the year so I had gone onto Shelbyville to see where he'd disappeared to and the consensus was that training with Ireland ruined his season.

Or maybe, just as a forinstance, Munster signed Haley in front of him (fair enough, he was young and Zebo gone and all, I didn't really rate Haley that highly to be honest) and then they signed Gallagher (I guess he became available but another guy at Haley's kind of level) and this year they sign the best fullback Munster produced.

Maybe Daly has a very different problem to the Irish camp rating him highly enough to bring him into their squad to train at the highest level? A much more, even blindingly, obvious problem?
Interesting post. Zebo and jenkings signings make you think As a Munster supporter it’s obviously very important that as talent comes up it gets progressed through. Daly and Hugo Keenan came up on the same Irish u20 team. Keenan at wing and daly at 13....both played 7s and currently both have similar provincial caps. Keenan 26/daly 28. However Keenan has made the international jump up and has 10 more international caps.
Matt Gallagher played against us in the final that year (at wing) and has 50 pro appearance (26 at lower level Bedford when loaned out). 6 at Munster in a first season ruined by injury. Personally I think all 3 will long term be in Irish squads but there needs to be continued progression. They need minutes. Gallagher was picked up from the saracens fire sale. By all accounts his agents made irfu aware of his interest to play in green. At the time they weeebt sure if Haley would stay or return to family in Manchester (recent baby born etc). To me Gallagher was a clever long term pick up. Big and fast I’ve liked what I’ve seen.

Of interest Calvin Nash a yr younger has 24 pro appearances.....100% agree that sweetnam and wootton needed to move. All squads need to prevent stagnation. Zebo signing is less likely to hurt daly or Gallagher ( as both play wing to a decent level) but it can hurt Sean french and jake flannery further down the depth chart. These guys have a future but need urgent minutes. A loan to Connacht (still on irfu books) or to championship in England needs to happen.

As Leinster repeatedly show with a big stockpile of excellent back row options with injuries you rarely have all available and clever selection allows all to stay fresh. Every bed of season interpro game sees cj and Pom blowing smoke while Leinster can pick and choose whoever is fresh or gameplan suited.
It all comes down to how jvg picks his teams. Ahern has 200 odd minutes this season. Given we were guaranteed to win the conference from Xmas that’s criminal. He could easily have played him with billy and bulked up the back row with fineen Wycherley at 6 (his best position ). Johanns issue is he always picks experience. If Ahern had double minutes he becomes a far better option next season. No long term thinking.

I watched the jenkings/zebo signings and I reacted like all wishing we were less reliant on the highveldt etc. I’ve no issue with Jenkins and rg being our locks for Europe and the biggest interpro games but for all others surely we pick Ahern. The same metric applies to full back.

The signings of themselves aren’t an issue. The issue is the lack of trust in youth to play enough average level pro14 games.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by mildlyinterested »

Sugary tae wrote:
April 21st, 2021, 2:09 pm
fourthirtythree wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 3:28 pm
munster#1 wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 10:30 am

Look, it’s just an opinion.
There are many factors which would impact on a players form, and for me I think that it may be because he is a player who is still learning the game, and he had his minutes on field reduced due to time away from the Munster camp.
In addition to this, whilst with the Irish team he barely seen the field on match days.
I was raving about the guy at the start of the year so I had gone onto Shelbyville to see where he'd disappeared to and the consensus was that training with Ireland ruined his season.

Or maybe, just as a forinstance, Munster signed Haley in front of him (fair enough, he was young and Zebo gone and all, I didn't really rate Haley that highly to be honest) and then they signed Gallagher (I guess he became available but another guy at Haley's kind of level) and this year they sign the best fullback Munster produced.

Maybe Daly has a very different problem to the Irish camp rating him highly enough to bring him into their squad to train at the highest level? A much more, even blindingly, obvious problem?
Interesting post. Zebo and jenkings signings make you think As a Munster supporter it’s obviously very important that as talent comes up it gets progressed through. Daly and Hugo Keenan came up on the same Irish u20 team. Keenan at wing and daly at 13....both played 7s and currently both have similar provincial caps. Keenan 26/daly 28. However Keenan has made the international jump up and has 10 more international caps.
Matt Gallagher played against us in the final that year (at wing) and has 50 pro appearance (26 at lower level Bedford when loaned out). 6 at Munster in a first season ruined by injury. Personally I think all 3 will long term be in Irish squads but there needs to be continued progression. They need minutes. Gallagher was picked up from the saracens fire sale. By all accounts his agents made irfu aware of his interest to play in green. At the time they weeebt sure if Haley would stay or return to family in Manchester (recent baby born etc). To me Gallagher was a clever long term pick up. Big and fast I’ve liked what I’ve seen.

Of interest Calvin Nash a yr younger has 24 pro appearances.....100% agree that sweetnam and wootton needed to move. All squads need to prevent stagnation. Zebo signing is less likely to hurt daly or Gallagher ( as both play wing to a decent level) but it can hurt Sean french and jake flannery further down the depth chart. These guys have a future but need urgent minutes. A loan to Connacht (still on irfu books) or to championship in England needs to happen.

As Leinster repeatedly show with a big stockpile of excellent back row options with injuries you rarely have all available and clever selection allows all to stay fresh. Every bed of season interpro game sees cj and Pom blowing smoke while Leinster can pick and choose whoever is fresh or gameplan suited.
It all comes down to how jvg picks his teams. Ahern has 200 odd minutes this season. Given we were guaranteed to win the conference from Xmas that’s criminal. He could easily have played him with billy and bulked up the back row with fineen Wycherley at 6 (his best position ). Johanns issue is he always picks experience. If Ahern had double minutes he becomes a far better option next season. No long term thinking.

I watched the jenkings/zebo signings and I reacted like all wishing we were less reliant on the highveldt etc. I’ve no issue with Jenkins and rg being our locks for Europe and the biggest interpro games but for all others surely we pick Ahern. The same metric applies to full back.

The signings of themselves aren’t an issue. The issue is the lack of trust in youth to play enough average level pro14 games.
yeah thats the reason munsters backrow is continuously outplayed against Leinster :lol:

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by JB1973 »

The problem fringe players especially the younger guys have is the lack of rugby there has been in terms of a fixtures and the semi pro games

They are not really getting a chance to force their claims by standing out at the next level down

What is the story with the semi pro game in Ireland when will you start playing fixtures? is it over until autumn 2021?

I don't know a great deal of the selection policy at munster but if some one is ripping it up in the ail on a weekly basis that is bound to help push their cause , same as if a guy is ripping it up in the welsh premiership. All these lads have lost 12 months of rugby and it is certainly holding some of them back

That Gallagher from Sarries is going to be a very good player in a season or two , he will go on to be be a fixture in the munster team

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by Sugary tae »

@mildly interested. I cant remember Pom having a decent game v Leinster. Even at times when he was playing well with Ireland /lions etc. The front 5 getting hammered doesn’t help. But he’s consistently been out played in interpros. Cj much less so.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by mildlyinterested »

Standers not been much better than POM against Leinster, he isn't anonymous as POM often is but he is rarely a standout.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by blockhead »

mildlyinterested wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 9:44 am
TRK's latest - Munster shouldn't have been expected to compete with Leinster this season because Kilcoyne, Snyman and Carbery were injured. Also if Exeter had kicked better they'd have beaten Leinster.
This one's for you mildly
Tom Savage: The gap between Munster and the elite might be smaller than it’s cool to admit
By Tom Savage -April 21, 2021
YOU could say that Munster’s hopes for the 2020/21 season took a mortal blow seven minutes into the very first game after the first restart and I don’t think it would be an exaggeration.

When RG Snyman and Dave Kilcoyne hobbled off with season-ending and practically season-ending injuries respectively against Leinster back in September close on the heels of the announcement of Joey Carbery’s indefinite injury spell, it was clear that Munster would be facing into a new season with heightened expectations but without three core players for an extended period of time.
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Injuries happen, sure, but for Munster to be without two key physical components – one of them a massive signing to address a long-standing issue in our pack composition – and the guy long identified as our #1 flyhalf, you can see how it might affect things.

For comparison, imagine Leinster didn’t have Andrew Porter, played a season where Furlong was injured for most of it, Sexton only came back from a long-term injury a few weeks before a final after 18 months out and James Ryan was gone for the entire season.
RG Snyman warms up for his Munster debut against Leinster in the Aviva.

Why bring Leinster into it? For the simple fact that it is Leinster who Munster are consistently compared. It has not been a kind comparison as of late. When Munster fail to beat Leinster across four games since August 2020 and with one of those losses coming in a final, there will be no escaping the criticism. It’s hard to get a read on the fixture in all honestly.

When Munster kick well – August 2020 and January 2021 – we lost by two and three points respectively. When we kicked poorly – September 2020 and March 2021 – we lost by ten points.

The one constant in that equation has been Munster’s kicking, which has been a consistent critique of this team over the last few years and this season was no different, at least in the big games. The primary issue was kicking too much – we have the most kicks out of hand in the PRO14 – but when it came to our losses this season against Leinster, Ulster and Toulouse, our opponents kicked to us more than we kicked to them.

This principle was exhibited in stark relief during Leinster’s fantastic win against Exeter over in Sandy Park. Rob Baxter’s men had the size and power in the pack to really hurt Leinster’s defensive system (and they did so repeatedly) but they didn’t have the kicking game to dictate where the game was played. Instead, Leinster dictated that position to them through their long territorial kicking game after they went behind on the scoreboard.

Ironically, I think if Exeter had married their power to a kicking strategy closer to what Munster have shown against Leinster over the past four meetings, they’d be planning for a European Cup semi-final instead of wondering how they let a 14-0 lead slip so comprehensively.

Leinster’s win away against the reigning European champions shows up a key truth that often gets ignored in that they are easily one of the top two or three best teams in Europe. In 2019/20, Munster were a team that could easily be described as a top-six in Europe outfit and I think it’s fair to say that after almost a full season without RG Snyman and Joey Carbery, that we are still in that designation.

There has been a narrative of “regression” this season because we couldn’t beat Leinster in the regular season or the PRO14 final and went out at the newly created and COVID forced Round of 16 in Europe. That sounds punchy but I don’t think it stands up to scrutiny. The past four seasons have shown us that when Munster lose big knockout games in Europe, they tend to lose games against the top two or three teams in Europe – your Racing 92s, your Saracens, your Leinsters.

Two seasons ago, we lost to Saracens in a semi-final and they went onto win the Champions Cup. Last season, Munster didn’t make it out of a pool where they were drawn with both Racing 92 and Saracens who would be eventual semi-finalists that season. This season we drew Toulouse at random out of the bowl in the Round of 16, another side who will contest a European Cup semi-final at the very least.

I think it’s fair to say that Munster have been championship gate-keepers over the last few seasons because when we’ve lost in Europe, it’s been to teams who have either gone on to win the tournament outright or contest the final at the very least.

As for next season – and the Rainbow Cup, which is technically still this season but will feature enough transition to warrant being a halfway point between this season just gone and next season – Munster are still very much in “win now” territory. The gap between ourselves and the teams lifting trophies seems as large as it ever has but I think it might be smaller than it’s cool to admit in April 2021.

Getting RG Snyman fit is a key part of the puzzle, as is keeping Joey Carbery fit and active. Jenkins addition beefs up our category one ball-carrying rotation to the point that he, Snyman and Irish international Jean Kleyn in combination with just one or two of Knox, Salanoa and Wycherley becoming regular matchday squad regulars gives us the kind of heft in the front five that will unlock what we’re trying to do elsewhere.

With guys like Coombes, Casey, Crowley, Healy, Hodnett, O’Sullivan, Fineen Wycherley, Flannery and others continuing their development alongside established test quality like Kilcoyne, O’Mahony, and Beirne – Munster have the potential to snap the streak if and only if key tight five forwards remain relatively fit and available during the season.

At least that’s how it feels after a two-week process of watching all of Munster’s game back again with a cold eye. The answer is simple; when we get top-end 80-minute power, the rest of our game will follow.

Until then, it’ll be glass ceilings and recrimination.
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by mildlyinterested »

blockhead wrote:
April 21st, 2021, 4:48 pm
mildlyinterested wrote:
April 16th, 2021, 9:44 am
TRK's latest - Munster shouldn't have been expected to compete with Leinster this season because Kilcoyne, Snyman and Carbery were injured. Also if Exeter had kicked better they'd have beaten Leinster.
This one's for you mildly
Tom Savage: The gap between Munster and the elite might be smaller than it’s cool to admit
By Tom Savage -April 21, 2021
YOU could say that Munster’s hopes for the 2020/21 season took a mortal blow seven minutes into the very first game after the first restart and I don’t think it would be an exaggeration.

When RG Snyman and Dave Kilcoyne hobbled off with season-ending and practically season-ending injuries respectively against Leinster back in September close on the heels of the announcement of Joey Carbery’s indefinite injury spell, it was clear that Munster would be facing into a new season with heightened expectations but without three core players for an extended period of time.

Injuries happen, sure, but for Munster to be without two key physical components – one of them a massive signing to address a long-standing issue in our pack composition – and the guy long identified as our #1 flyhalf, you can see how it might affect things.

For comparison, imagine Leinster didn’t have Andrew Porter, played a season where Furlong was injured for most of it, Sexton only came back from a long-term injury a few weeks before a final after 18 months out and James Ryan was gone for the entire season.



Why bring Leinster into it? For the simple fact that it is Leinster who Munster are consistently compared. It has not been a kind comparison as of late. When Munster fail to beat Leinster across four games since August 2020 and with one of those losses coming in a final, there will be no escaping the criticism. It’s hard to get a read on the fixture in all honestly.

When Munster kick well – August 2020 and January 2021 – we lost by two and three points respectively. When we kicked poorly – September 2020 and March 2021 – we lost by ten points.

The one constant in that equation has been Munster’s kicking, which has been a consistent critique of this team over the last few years and this season was no different, at least in the big games. The primary issue was kicking too much – we have the most kicks out of hand in the PRO14 – but when it came to our losses this season against Leinster, Ulster and Toulouse, our opponents kicked to us more than we kicked to them.

This principle was exhibited in stark relief during Leinster’s fantastic win against Exeter over in Sandy Park. Rob Baxter’s men had the size and power in the pack to really hurt Leinster’s defensive system (and they did so repeatedly) but they didn’t have the kicking game to dictate where the game was played. Instead, Leinster dictated that position to them through their long territorial kicking game after they went behind on the scoreboard.

Ironically, I think if Exeter had married their power to a kicking strategy closer to what Munster have shown against Leinster over the past four meetings, they’d be planning for a European Cup semi-final instead of wondering how they let a 14-0 lead slip so comprehensively.

Leinster’s win away against the reigning European champions shows up a key truth that often gets ignored in that they are easily one of the top two or three best teams in Europe. In 2019/20, Munster were a team that could easily be described as a top-six in Europe outfit and I think it’s fair to say that after almost a full season without RG Snyman and Joey Carbery, that we are still in that designation.

There has been a narrative of “regression” this season because we couldn’t beat Leinster in the regular season or the PRO14 final and went out at the newly created and COVID forced Round of 16 in Europe. That sounds punchy but I don’t think it stands up to scrutiny. The past four seasons have shown us that when Munster lose big knockout games in Europe, they tend to lose games against the top two or three teams in Europe – your Racing 92s, your Saracens, your Leinsters.

Two seasons ago, we lost to Saracens in a semi-final and they went onto win the Champions Cup. Last season, Munster didn’t make it out of a pool where they were drawn with both Racing 92 and Saracens who would be eventual semi-finalists that season. This season we drew Toulouse at random out of the bowl in the Round of 16, another side who will contest a European Cup semi-final at the very least.

I think it’s fair to say that Munster have been championship gate-keepers over the last few seasons because when we’ve lost in Europe, it’s been to teams who have either gone on to win the tournament outright or contest the final at the very least.

As for next season – and the Rainbow Cup, which is technically still this season but will feature enough transition to warrant being a halfway point between this season just gone and next season – Munster are still very much in “win now” territory. The gap between ourselves and the teams lifting trophies seems as large as it ever has but I think it might be smaller than it’s cool to admit in April 2021.

Getting RG Snyman fit is a key part of the puzzle, as is keeping Joey Carbery fit and active. Jenkins addition beefs up our category one ball-carrying rotation to the point that he, Snyman and Irish international Jean Kleyn in combination with just one or two of Knox, Salanoa and Wycherley becoming regular matchday squad regulars gives us the kind of heft in the front five that will unlock what we’re trying to do elsewhere.

With guys like Coombes, Casey, Crowley, Healy, Hodnett, O’Sullivan, Fineen Wycherley, Flannery and others continuing their development alongside established test quality like Kilcoyne, O’Mahony, and Beirne – Munster have the potential to snap the streak if and only if key tight five forwards remain relatively fit and available during the season.

At least that’s how it feels after a two-week process of watching all of Munster’s game back again with a cold eye. The answer is simple; when we get top-end 80-minute power, the rest of our game will follow.

Until then, it’ll be glass ceilings and recrimination.
ah he's classic :lol:

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