Veteran Munster second row Mick O’Driscoll, whose career came to an end in the 45-10 defeat to the Ospreys, believes the province still has the potential to compete for trophies.
Last weekend’s defeat to the Welsh outfit brought to an end a bitterly disappointing season for McGahan’s men who failed to reach the final in both the PRO12 and the Heineken Cup.
Munster’s form in the PRO12 was inconsistent throughout the season but the province appeared to be firing on all cylinders in Europe where they emerged from pool 1 with six wins from six to claim top seeding heading into the knockout stages.
But Munster slumped to just their second ever European defeat in Thomond Park when they came up against a superior Ulster side who are now preparing for a Heineken Cup final against Leinster.
That result meant their sole focus was on defending the League title but Munster came up short against the Ospreys and O’Driscoll admits it was a frustrating end to his last season.
"Nothing went right in that performance,” he said.
“There were too many mistakes. We were knocked back and turned over. We were second best in everything."
Having already lost seasoned campaigners such as David Wallace, Jerry Flannery and John Hayes as well as O’Driscoll and with McGahan returning to Australia in the summer it has been suggested that Munster’s golden era of European rugby has come to an end but O’Driscoll doesn’t see it that way.
"Is it the end of an era? Absolutely not. People have been saying that since 2006.
“We’ve gone on since then, won the European Cup in 2008, then the Magners League as it was, so I don’t see it as an end of an era.
"People said it was the end of an era last year when we failed to reach the knockout stages of Europe.
“But this season, we reached the knockout stages of Europe, semi-final of the RaboDirect and we’re doing that with a lot of guys coming in and a lot of guys coming out.
"That shows the young guys are capable and they have plenty of experience. Hopefully next season will be a turning point.”