Johann van Graan sends out stark warning after Munster’s dismal Swansea show

‘We need to improve in all areas,’ says head coach after first loss of season at Ospreys

Munster’s Niall Scannell is tackled by Jac Morgan of Ospreys during the United Rugby Championship match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Photograph: Ashley Crowden/Inpho

Munster’s Niall Scannell is tackled by Jac Morgan of Ospreys during the United Rugby Championship match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Photograph: Ashley Crowden/Inpho

 

Ospreys 18 Munster 10

Johann van Graan has warned his players they will have to improve all aspects of their game after getting bullied by the Ospreys in Swansea.

Munster were unbeaten in the United Rugby Championship up to this point, but the coaches will have some concerns after last week’s somewhat fortuitous victory over Connacht and this humbling defeat to an understrength Ospreys side.

The Irish province have a month without any games, and Van Graan insists they will use it to get better ahead of a crucial December and January window which includes the start of their Heineken Champions Cup campaign.

“We need to improve in all areas,” he said. “We’ve got a massive block of fixtures coming up with two games in South Africa, the start of Europe, three interpros and back into Europe.

“I’m obviously disappointed about this game. Winning four out of five gives us an 80 per cent return but we are disappointed we couldn’t get a result against the Ospreys. It’s a game that we believed would be very tight and it certainly was.”

Munster were taken apart at scrum time, while the Ospreys held the upper hand physically. They were ultimately undone by the boot of veteran outhalf Stephen Myler who kicked all 18 of his side’s points.

Myler and Jack Crowley exchanged early penalties, but Munster had an early driving lineout try disallowed when prop John Ryan was judged to be offside. Ospreys prop Nicky Smith, who was a surprise omission from Wayne Pivac’s Wales squad, gave the Irish side a torrid time at the scrum which resulted in Myler kicking them into a 9-3 half-time lead.

Munster’s Fineen Wycherley is tackled by Rhys Webb of Ospreys during the United Rugby Championship match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Photograph: Ashley Crowden/Inpho
Munster’s Fineen Wycherley is tackled by Rhys Webb of Ospreys during the United Rugby Championship match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Photograph: Ashley Crowden/Inpho

Munster made a sloppy start to the second half conceding a penalty for a high tackle and spilling the ball twice within the first five minutes. And they conceded another penalty at the scrum which allowed Myler to make it a two-score game with another successful kick from 45 metres out before Craig Casey grabbed Munster’s try off the back of a well-worked driving lineout.

Van Graan unloaded his bench, sending on to the field South African World Cup winner Damian de Allende and Ireland scrumhalf Conor Murray. But they couldn’t swing the game in their favour as Myler kicked a further two penalties to condemn Munster to their first defeat of the season.

“We weren’t clinical enough, we didn’t adapt to the referee quick enough, and we conceded some penalties at the breakdown which gave Ospreys some territory,” added Van Graan.

“They were very good in the scrums and got a lot of penalties out of it which again put us under pressure from a field position point of view. We’ll have to go and review that and go through the normal protocols but that was the decision made by the referee and we’ve got to live with that.”

SCORING SEQUENCE – 1 min: Myler pen, 3-0; 5: Crowley pen, 3-3; 31: Myler pen, 6-3 ; 35: Myler pen, 9-3 (half-time 9-3). 45: Myler pen, 12-3; 53: Casey try, Crowley con, 12-10; 63: Myler pen, 15-10; 71: Myler pen, 18-10.

OSPREYS: M Nagy; A Cuthbert, O Watkin, K Williams, M Protheroe; S Myler, R Webb; N Smith, E Taione, T Botha; B Davies, R Davies; S Cross, J Morgan, E Roots.

Replacements: D Evans for Protheroe (46 mins), M Morris for Roots (58), G Thomas for Smith, R Henry for Botha (both 61), I Phillips for Taione (66), J Regan for Cross (68), R Morgan-Williams for Webb (71), J Hawkins for Williams (74) .

MUNSTER: M Gallagher; A Conway, L Coombes, D Goggin, S Daly; J Crowley, C Casey; J Loughman, N Scannell, J Ryan; J Kleyn, F Wycherley; T Beirne, P O’Mahony, J O’Donoghue.

Replacements: K Knox for Ryan, G Coombes for Kleyn (both 53 mins), K O’Byrne for Scannell (56), C Murray for Casey, D de Allende for Gallagher (59), B Healy for Crowley (65), J Wycherley for F Wycherley (68).

Referee: Hollie Davidson (SRU).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.