Munster – The Year That Was
Munster were defeated by Leinster in the RDS on Saturday by a single point 16-15. Leinster are now on course for the double when they play Scarlets in Dublin this weekend. From a Munster perspective it is another campaign that will end in disappointment, 2 Semi Finals and two defeats like 2017.
Johan Van Graan took the role of Head Coach after Rassie Erasmus left for South Africa last November. This campaign like last year has been disrupted by injuries and upheaval in the coaching ticket. Looking at the way this year ended with Munster in two semi finals but like last year both ended in losses.
The major question will be how can Munster try and gain enough momentum and also make the correct adjustments so they can go beyond just competing in semi finals and get back to Finals. They did make the 2017 Pro 12 Final and were heavily defeated by The Scarlets.
Two tries late on covered over the cracks and the hope was that the 2017/2018 season could be the start of something special but alas it wasn’t to be and now the Munster management committee and coaching staff will have a full summer to stew on what went before and they will need to come up with some new type of game plan to try and break down the mental barrier that seems to block them in Finals rugby.
The attacking game plan has been virtually nonexistent with Munster struggling to get consistency in the out half position this year and to that end the decision to give Bill Johnston a two year deal will hopefully give Munster an opportunity to blood a new 10 and try and build a new partnership between Conor Murray and his understudy Duncan Williams and the 10s that are already in the Munster squad, JJ Hanrahan and Ian Keatley. Adding Neal Cronin to the scrum half department will bring added competition.
Here’s hoping that season 2018/2019 will bring more pleasant times for the Munster squad and Fans
Cian Mc Gibney