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Van Graan tells Munster they must improve to beat Racing

 

By Cian Tracey

"I think it was a kinda 60-minute performance," Johann van Graan says, perfectly summing up Munster's bonus-point win over Connacht.

Having watched his side play well for 40 minutes against Leinster and Ulster, Van Graan demanded major improvements, and while he got that to a large extent, the overall performance was still some way short of what Munster are capable of.

At the same time, they didn't want to peak too soon, before Sunday's crucial Champions Cup meeting with Racing in Paris.

The French side are unlikely to crumble as easily as Connacht did at Thomond Park, especially in their own back yard, so Munster have plenty of work to do on the training ground this week.

They outscored Connacht by five tries to one, despite only leading 10-6 at the break. The hosts' scrum creaked in the early stages before it was solidified, while their error count in a disjointed first-half display will also have to be reduced.

This weekend's clash is 'do or die' for Racing and Van Graan is adamant that nothing less than an 80-minute performance will suffice in the French capital.

"Yes, I do (believe so)," the Munster boss insisted. "I think if you look at the context of our pool; Racing are four points behind us, they will also want to stay in this competition.

"If we beat them I believe we will get through the pool. If we don't, we will have to get back here to Thomond Park the following week (against Castres).

"To win in France - we drew there earlier in the season - so to win there against top-quality opposition you will need an 80-minute performance with all 23 of your players."

"This game in terms of the bigger picture, it's a thing of the past now. Europe's a totally different competition. We're playing against a side (Racing) that's got a different complexity about them."

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