Munster are braced for very bad news about new Springbok signing RG Snyman. The giant lock was forced off with a knee injury in the early stages of the 27-25 defeat to Leinster at the Aviva stadium.
"He is going to go for a scan but it looks pretty serious," said Munster coach Johann van Graan. "Very disappointed to lose him in the first seven minutes of the game as well as Dave Kilcoyne with an ankle and Jean Kleyn as well with a neck injury.
“All three of them are going for a scan as quick as possible, but this one hurts.”
Munster were unable to play an internal warm up match last week as their University of Limerick training centre was closed after an academy player tested positive for Covid-19.
“RG is a tough man,” Van Graan continued. “He doesn’t come off the field very often. He went up, stole that lineout and fell pretty badly. I am absolutely gutted about it.
“Look, that is rugby. That is what this game is about, you got to come through tough times. I am proud of the effort of the lads.
“To lose two of your ball carriers from the tight five in the first seven minutes of the game, against a team of Leinster’s calibre, with six forwards on the bench, it took a lot for our guys to fight through this.”
Kleyn's departure forced centre Rory Scannell to finish the game at flanker.
Munster need two points against Connacht next week to face Leinster in the Pro 14 semi-final two weeks from now.
The champions are also counting the cost of facing their biggest rivals in the first match since sport was shut down last March. Dave Kearney (hamstring), Cian Healy (arm), Josh van der Flier (hand) and Johnny Sexton (thumb) are immediate concerns ahead of the Ulster match.
Considering Leinster have already qualified, Leo Cullen is expected to rotate the squad.
In a direct criticism of the officiating, Leinster captain Sexton branded the breakdown as "chaos."
“Very stop start, rusty game,” he explained. “We knew there would be an element of that. We would have liked to have been a bit better.
“Obviously the breakdown was absolutely, it was chaos. We couldn’t seem to get any flow into our game.
“We got some momentum back in terms of the result. To start with a win is very important. that’s about it really. Not too much to talk about. Stop start affair.
“We saw that with the Premiership as well. Hopefully week two will be better. We know we got a semi-final to look forward to, probably against the same opposition.”
On the empty stadium Sexton added: “It was a very strange experience. Before the game we spoke about the people watching - the amount of texts I got - it is always a huge game against Munster but knowing we are in the semi-final in two weeks, and still the amount of texts I got from people wishing us well and couldn’t wait to watch the game, you felt it was a huge game. Even in an empty stadium we wanted to put on a show for people all over Ireland.
“Don’t know if we did that but there were a lot of guts shown.
“We got the win and that is what we are here to do.”