United Rugby Championship: Munster count injury cost of ‘tough’ win over Glasgow Warriors in the quarter-finals

·3-min read
 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Munster could be without several players for this weekend’s clash against Leinster following their gruelling 14-5 win over Glasgow Warriors in the United Rugby Championship quarter-finals.

While it was a gritty performance from Graham Rowntree’s men, it did not come without a cost as they prepare for a tricky semi-final against Leinster on Saturday.

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A lot of injury concern

Skipper Peter O’Mahony only lasted four minutes before going off for what looked like a bicep injury. Adding to that is a whole host of head injuries to Conor Murray, RG Snyman, Malakai Fekitoa and Calvin Nash, who are all expected to be unavailable for the semi-final.

Meanwhile, hooker Diarmuid Barron also had to be withdrawn from the field of play.

Rowntree admitted that it was a brutal game but gave no specific updates, which will likely be revealed in the coming days.

“Tough game, that,” said Rowntree.

“We’ve got a few bodies that will be sore and we’ll see what the next couple of days brings us there in terms of what we can get on the field next week.

“I have learned to see what tomorrow brings and the day after.”

Facing bitter rivals Leinster is a tough task regardless of circumstance but is made more difficult for Munster as the Dublin side had the chance to rotate against the Sharks.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen will have to consider the Champions Cup final against La Rochelle the following week, but he has a squad full of quality players to choose from.

Nevertheless, Rowntree believes his side has momentum and is learning their lessons in the business end of the season.

“We’ve got huge momentum now in our game and so much more we can do better,” he said.

“It’s the business end and our game is growing. We’re learning our lessons, it’s been a rollercoaster but we’ve got some form because we’ve worked hard on our game and had a good look at it.

“We’re fit but we’re going to have to be better than we were on Saturday night against this team (Leinster) next Saturday.”

Physical clash

Meanwhile, Gavin Coombes agreed it was a physical game but thought Munster made it hard on themselves.

He also felt that the first half red card to Glasgow’s Tom Jordan did not influence their game plan.

“We knew all week they were going to bring physicality and they brought that in abundance,” Coombes said.

“But look, we made a lot of mistakes out there and probably made it tougher on ourselves than we needed to, but we dug in – especially in the second half to keep them out when they spent so long in our 22, we’re really proud of that and we’ll fix up the mistakes for next week.

“I don’t think it changed anything really, we just stuck to our own game plan that we had during the week and we knew that they weren’t going to give up the fight, that they were going to stay in it and credit to them, it was a tough day out there.

“You can see everyone that has travelled here and the noise they made throughout the game, this is a special club and it means so much to us now.

“We’re playing Leinster next week and that’s massive for us, and we’re looking forward to it.

“We’ll come back in Monday and re-assess, we’ll look back on this game and then focus on that one.”

READ MORE: United Rugby Championship Team of the Week: Stormers and Munster rewarded for quarter-final performances

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