Chris Farrell: Leinster 'bullied' us in the first 10 & that set the tone for the rest of the game

Farrell admitted a number of home truths have been expressed in the Munster camp
Chris Farrell: Leinster 'bullied' us in the first 10 & that set the tone for the rest of the game

Munster's Chris Farrell is tackled. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Chris Farrell admitted a number of home truths have been expressed in the Munster camp following their deflating defeat to a second-string Leinster team in the United Rugby Championship at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday.

Despite being the side with the most to play for on paper - a victory would have guaranteed them a home quarter-final in the inaugural URC - Johann van Graan’s charges suffered a 35-25 reversal to their arch rivals. Already guaranteed top spot in the final standings, Leinster could afford to rest their front-line stars ahead of this weekend's Champions Cup final showdown with La Rochelle, but this didn’t stop Leo Cullen’s fringe selection from coming away with a deserved bonus point victory.

“We had a pretty honest assessment about how things went as a group and in our mini-groups we had it out with each other about what we thought we could have done better. We weren’t on it from the start. We were beaten physically in certain areas and we were really disappointed with our breakdown,” Farrell acknowledged on a URC media call yesterday.

“Honestly, we probably got bullied a little bit there in the first 10 minutes and that set the tone for the rest of the game. There are a few other areas that we’re really disappointed with. We didn’t exit very well. We panicked a little bit. We felt we were really well prepared for it and that’s the disappointing thing.

“We felt like going into the game we had good knowledge of what to expect from that Leinster team. We knew where they were dangerous and we thought we were well prepared, but we didn’t act like that when the game came to it.” After finishing sixth at the end of the regular URC season, Munster will be hitting the road on Friday week for an interprovincial derby quarter-final against Ulster at Kingspan Stadium.

When they last visited the Belfast venue on April 22, opening half tries from Stephen Archer and Keith Earls helped Munster to secure a 24-17 triumph over Dan McFarland’s men. Tyrone native Farrell played a key role at outside centre against his home province on that occasion, but he doesn’t feel their victory in that game will hold any relevance when the two sides renew acquaintances in the knockout rounds.

“There’s not a huge amount we can take away from winning up there this year. I think it’s going to be a completely different task. It’s not a game that we can compare to what we did the last time we were up there. It’s a really hostile place to play and they’re now a team that have one front to compete on, like us.

“They’ll want to right that wrong and I’d expect a reaction from them. They didn’t like being beaten by Munster in Belfast. They were disappointed with that last time. It’s going to be a huge evening up there next Friday night and one that we’re not going to shy away from.”

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