Johann van Graan hails great night for Munster as Tigers boss says: 'I won't comment on officials'

Munster head coach Johann van Graan feels his team have taken a major step forward in their development after beating Leicester 25-16 at Welford Road.

Johann van Graan hails great night for Munster as Tigers boss says: 'I won't comment on officials'

Munster head coach Johann van Graan feels his team have taken a major step forward in their development after beating Leicester 25-16 at Welford Road.

It means the province completed back-to-back wins over the Tigers and take firm control of Pool Four of the Champions Cup with three wins and a draw from their four games.

Fly-half Ian Keatley kicked six penalties with CJ Stander diving over from close range.

For Leicester, Mathew Tait's try had given them an early advantage but ill-discipline cost them as Munster scored 10 points while Dan Cole was in the sin bin.

"It was a great night for Munster. This was always going to be a massive game not only for the Champions Cup but the growth of this team," Van Graan said.

"Obviously we knew it was a mammoth task to come here and pull off a victory. We did a lot of research on the game last year and what happened.

"Winning away in the fourth round, I'm very happy with that performance, it wasn't perfect at all but we'll take this win.

"We knew there was going to be a lot of pressure on us. We conceded that early try but the brilliant thing is we planned for situations, and we got that penalty straight back.

"We went behind again but very happy with the lead at half time, we weren't happy with the first 40 although we stayed in the game.

"We got the lead again and the way we defended our line I was very happy with that."

With Leicester missing out on a losing bonus point, their qualification hopes are all but over. But the returns of Manu Tuilagi and Matt Tooma were a small consolation for head coach Matt O'Connor.

"It was an enormous shift from Manu Tuilagi and Matt Toomua to play 80 minutes of that intensity. Massive congratulations need to go to the two boys and the medical staff," he said.

"To come back off the back of significant lay-offs and put in 80-minute performances like they did is exceptional.

"There were probably enough opportunities to win the game, we applied a lot of pressure in the last third and had enough chances to win it, but full credit to Munster - they deserved the win.

"The penalty count made it hard, a 12-2 penalty count at home is a bit unique but it is what it is. I'm not going to comment on the officials, it's not worth it."

More in this section

Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Home Delivery
logo-ie

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox