YOUNG Munster head coach, David Corkery admitted the players were ‘absolutely devastated’ following Saturday’s dramatic 22-16 Ulster Bank League semi-final loss to Cork Con at Temple Hill.
It was the second year in succession that Munsters’ had lost out at the penultimate stage of the AIL.
Corkery said: “Disappointment is probably a long understatement. The players are absolutely devastated inside.
“Again, similar to the disappointment of last weekend when we didn’t get the home semi-final, growing men crying inside in our dressing room.
”It is a sign of character to show how much it hurts to lose. The only thing I asked them inside was to take it on board, learn from the mistakes, be it on the pitch or in life.
”We can look at certain things that happened during the game, the bounce of a ball, missed tackles, so can Con.
“We can go back on decisions that were made, but ultimately it is not going to make any difference to the score.
We can bitch and moan, referees and touch judges have a difficult job, no issues with them. Ultimately, I live and die by the sword I always wield, so if there is anyone to be blamed I will 110% take the shot for it.
“We knew in the first half we hadn’t gone beyond three phases once and we knew if we were able to build phases, referees will always favour the attacking team.
”We got to a few phases, sixes and seven. We were getting penalties and the dominance in the scrum had turned. We were certainly on par if not a small bit dominant.
”Then we had the sin-binnings which ultimately defined the game. Referee made the call. Whether I agree or disagree makes no difference at all. It is the history books now.
“It’s cold comfort that we could play them again in the Munster Senior Cup. This is the big one.
“You don’t start off at the start of the season wishing to reach Everest and be happy getting one foot from the summit.
”A lot of people say it has been a great season, but that is not the way the brain of a rugby player works, certainly not the way the brain of a Young Munster rugby player works.
”We picked up a number of injuries in the first half. Coming into the game guys were stuck together with glue, I’ll be honest with you.
”In saying that, we still had the chance, we dominated that second half and went up by six points with 10 minutes to go.
”Ultimately we failed. That is all you can say about it. We have a lot of sore bodies, a lot of bruised egos, a lot of very emotional lads in there.”