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19 Jan 2022

Munster Rugby's coach Johann Van Graan praises side's belief after Ulster win

Munster Rugby head coach Johann Van Graan praises side's belief

Munster centre Chris Farrell looks to get past Nick Tomoney, of Ulster, in Saturday night's URC clash at Thomond Park

MUNSTER Rugby's head coach Johann van Graan praised his side's belief in the wake of their dramatic 18-13 URC victory over Ulster at Thomond Park on Saturday night.

Munster rallied after falling 0-7 in arrears and the loss of Simon Zebo to a red card in the 15th minute to stun their interprovincial rivals, thanks to second half tries from Mike Haley and replacement Alex Kendellen.

The win was a timely boost for Munster on the back of their disappointing showing in losing out to Connacht seven days earlier. 

Johann van Graan insisted that it had not been a tough week for the squad in the lead up to the Ulster game, despite the criticism they received in the wake of the Connacht loss.

Van Graan said: "It was not really that tough. We had a normal week. We had our meeting on Monday after the loss, as we always do. We had a very good training week. We are just very glad about the result.

"We’re all really glad to have got the win; that was what we had planned all week to do; obviously the red card made it a bit more difficult, I thought at half-time we had a good tactical discussion in terms of what to do in our backfield, our scrum and our line outs.

“It is always a 23-man effort. Obviously losing Pete (Peter O'Mahony) in the warm-up we had to adapt. We just said Tadhg (Beirne) is going to start the game, Alex (Kendellen) will jump onto the bench. I thought we made good tactical decisions in the game in terms of when to put guys on and everybody played their part.

"It is always difficult to play a game with a player less, for what 65 minutes, but the belief is always there and tactically we stayed in it."

Munster travel to France this week for Friday night's Heineken Champions Cup Round 3 fixture with Castres Olympique at Stade Pierre Fabre, 8pm Irish time.

 

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