Belfast Telegraph

Munster left down and out by Toulon

Toulon 32 Munster 16: Munster coach Tony McGahan was “shattered” by the defeat which dumped the province out of the Heineken Cup at the pool stages for the first time in 12 years and accepted that it could be seen as the end of an era for the 2006 and 2008 champions.

“It's a very pertinent question and certainly a very realistic one,” said McGahan.

“This group has gone through a lot of time together and we have been making subtle changes to the playing group in the last two years. We need to deal with where we are at, we need to make sure we get results for the rest of the year.

“I'm absolutely shattered to be out of the Heineken Cup campaign, especially after a very disappointing performance,” he added, pointing to Munster's discipline issues and two yellow cards as a major factor in Toulon's victory.

“We conceded 13 points when we had two players off the park, and a couple of penalties from scrums certainly added to the scoreline.

“I think most of all it's the lack of accuracy trying to put anything together, I thought we were very frantic at times, particularly in the first half, we had a bit of a dried up source from our set-piece so we needed to make sure we controlled our ball to put some pressure on them but we weren't able to do that.

“We contested the breakdown well and had some good turnovers in defence but, again, you work hard to get them and then turn the ball straight back over. Add in the indiscipline and penalties and it's very difficult and I thought they (Toulon) played really well.

“I thought their defence was excellent, they really picked our runners around the ruck or whether it was out wide. They were very, very good and I thought they fully deserved the result.

“We just have to get on with things,” he said. “We have our last game next week and we have to finish off as best as we can. And over the six-week break with the Six Nations we have to make sure we regroup and face the rest of the Magners League games head-on.

“To be only competing in one competition is certainly a little strange.”

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