MUNSTER'S European Champions Cup fate remains very much in their own hands, despite Saturday's dramatic 18-16 defeat to the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
Second-placed Munster trail table toppers Glasgow Warriors by two points in Pool 1 of the competitions. While Munster have three pool fixtures to play, pacesetters Glasgow have just two.
Two of Munster's remaining fiztures next month will be against French champions Racing (2 ehose hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals disappeared with their defeat to Glasgow on Friday.
Munster also face a trip to Scotstoun to face the Warriors in Round 5, a fixture which could well decide which of the two Pro12 sides finishes top of Pool 1.
Munster second row Billy Holland says having their European destiny in their own hands with three games to go is a positive. Munster have failed to progress to the knock-out stages of the Champions Cup for the past two seasons. The province failed to take a single point from their back-to-back fixtures with Leicester 12 months ago, compared to a haul of six points from the two meetings this time round.
Holland said: “We're not in a bad place in this group. When we come to the next round of games in the New Year it is in our own hands, so that is a positive.
“There's two big games for us to play before then (in the Guinness Pro120) but when we come back to it hopefully we've learned form the few mistakes we made today.
“Maybe there wa sa bit of naivety at times form us but there's enough good players in this squad to move it on, drive it forward.”
Next up for Munsster is a glamour top-of-the-table Guinness pro12 clash with arch rivals Leinster at Thomond Park on St Stephen's Day, 5.30pm.
Munster, who lost to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium in October, currently edge Leinster for top spot on the table.
Holland said: “There's a lot at stake in terms of points and position on the table, but we'll come back in next week and look at those areas of the game.”