Players from Munster and Connacht get up close and personal during their New Year's Day URC derby at the Sportsground
MUNSTER Rugby head coach Johann van Graan admitted to being disappointed with the result as his charges fell to a 10-8 defeat to Connacht in a feisty United Rugby Championship derby fixture at the Sportsground on Saturday night.
Misfiring Munster suffered their second successive defeat in the URC as the side played their first fixture in the competition fpr 10 weeks as a result of Covid-19 issues.
This frustrating defeat leaves Munster in seventh place in the URC table, nine points behind leaders Leinster. Munster do have a game in hand on their provincial rivals.
Head coach Van Graan also pointed to the period just before half-time in being crucial to his side's defeat. With Connacht having a player in the sin-bin, Munster pounded away at the home side's line but were unable to cross the whitewash and had to make-do with a five-point interval lead.
Van Graan said: "It was a one score game, a pretty scrappy game from both sides. It was a pretty feisty game.
"I thought just before half-time we didn't get points on the board. They got points on the board in the second half, it was pretty tight, obviously disappointed we didn't get a result away from home
"Look, it's a one score game, one kick over and you win the game. Obviously from our side we came here to win and we didn't so that is really disappointing."
Saturday's game came on the back of the postponement of Munster's scheduled fixture against Leinster at Thomond Park.
One of the very few positives from Saturday night's game is that Munster were able to give gametime to several players who badly needed a competitive outing.
Van Graan said: "It is the challenge for all teams currently just to get guys on the pitch and just to play rugby games, so we will take that as a massive positive that we could have played. We will take our bonus point, move home, but pretty disappointed with the result.
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