Munster coach Van Graan says only 'very, very best' will do against Leinster

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, at Thomond Park


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, at Thomond Park


Munster coach Van Graan says only ’very very best’ will do against Leinster

Munster supporter Tiegan Burke says thanks to three players who played their last game for the province at Thomond Park on Saturday

MUNSTER head coach Johann van Graan agrees his side will have to be at their ‘very, very best’ if they are to get past arch rivals Leinster in their glamour Guinness PRO14 semi-final in Dublin later this month.

Munster will take on Champions Cup finalists Leinster at the RDS on Saturday, May 19 at 3.15pm.

Van Graan charges earned their last four place thanks to a hard fought 20-16 play-off win over Edinburgh at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Munster suffered a 23-17 defeat to Leinter on their most recent away date with Leinster in the Pro14, played at the Aviva Stadium last October.

Munster’s lone triumph on Leinster soil in 10 years, since September 2008 came at the Aviva Stadium in Round 5 of the 2014/15 campaign.

Asked what aspects of their game would need to improve if Munster are to trouble Leinster on Saturday week, Johann van Graan said: "I think some of our kick execution needs to be better. Obviously, we hope to have one or two guys back into the squad and I think a few teams are searching for that answer as to what do to beat Leinster at this stage. 

"They're playing incredible rugby, going into the Champions Cup final, so we'll have to do our planning very carefully because we're going to do to Dublin and face a very, very talented and very good and very professional outfit. If we're to stand a chance of beating them, we'll need to be at our very, very best."

"I thought today (v Edinburgh) was an arm wrestle. In the previous play-off game, we didn't really have the chance in the first 15 minutes to play with more ambition because we didn't have the ball. 

"I thought we did some good things out there today, possibly one or two things we could execute better but certainly in a semi-final away from home coming up against Leinster, we might have to look at one or two things differently."

"One or two individualistic moments swung it in our way. I was very glad about the two tries which obviously gave us a bit of a lead and I'm very happy with the fact that once we got the lead we stayed in front for the whole game."