Munster Rugby coach Johann van Graan 'very disappointed to lose incredible game of rugby'

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, Thomond Park

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, Thomond Park

Email:

ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster Rugby coach Johann van Graan 'very disappointed to lose incredible game of rugby'

Gavin Coombes, right, and Fineen Wycherley, both of Munster, pictured during Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup defeat to Toulouse at Thomond Park

MUNSTER Rugby head coach Johann van Graan admitted to be 'very disappointed to lose an incredible game of rugby' as the province lost out to French kingpins Toulouse 40-33 in an eight-try Heineken Champions Cup last 16 tie at a sun-drenched Thomond Park.

Munster lost their 16-game unbeaten home run in the Heineken Champions Cup dating back to 2015 as Top 14 heavyweights Toulouse earned a quarter-final showdown with Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel Michelin next weekend.

It was only the second defeat for Munster in 11 knock-out fixtures in the Heineken Cup, with Ulster in 2012 the only other side to beat the two-time winners in such a match.

Saturday's loss to Toulouse capped a shattering seven-day period for Munster who suffered a comprehensive Guinness PRO14 final defeat to Leinster last weekend.

However, while Munster managed to score just six points at a blustery RDS, the home side scored four tries against Toulouse with a brace each for winger Keith Earls and prolific try-scoring back-row Gavin Coombes.

Following today's defeat Munster head coach Van Graan said: “Firstly, all 23 of our guys gave it their all. It's very disappointing to lose an incredible game of rugby. I am incredibly proud of the lads today. We gave it our best short and we literally came up short by one try.

“We went for the try, on the forward pass, I think it was from Keith (Earls) to Andrew (Conway) and we got three points. Hopefully we would have got seven there.

“I think that was a big swing there because there were a lot of seven pointers. But give credit where credit is due, well done to Toulouse.”