Munster 9 — Clermont Auvergne 16

Munster beaten by a better team

It’s hard to say where Munster might have been the equals of Clermont tonight.

It wasn’t in the scrum.

It wasn’t in the ruck.

It wasn’t in the maul.

It wasn’t in open play.

It wasn’t in kicking out of hand.

It wasn’t in ball-handling.

It wasn’t even in the lineout.

It wasn’t, let’s be blunt with ourselves, even in the game plan.

So much for the French being bad travellers. They squeezed us, they choked us, they locked us out of our own stadium.  This contest with Clermont gave us almost nothing to take home by way of satisfaction, apart from the sour comfort that it could have been worse.  At least they didn’t get their four tries, while  we ended with a losing bonus: a two-point difference that we might end up being grateful for, though I doubt it.

On tonight’s performance, Clermont were the superior team in almost every respect and they can only be tougher when we visit them next weekend.  Blood and guts can  take a team only so far, but in the end, it takes flair, inventiveness and a thorough analysis of your opponents’ game.

Clermont had their homework done but I don’t know if we had.  The players will be devastated and tonight is not the time for post-mortems, but tomorrow hard questions will need to be asked by everyone about their performance, on the field, on the training ground and in the stand.

12 thoughts on “Munster 9 — Clermont Auvergne 16

  1. To be fair, Bock, the resources available to ASM are hugely greater than those of Munster. I didn’t look at the Auvergnats budget for this season, but suspect it is probably three times that of Munster

  2. “but tomorrow hard questions will need to be asked by everyone about their performance”.. I’ve always found this to be the case when you have some French rugby men in town.
    There’s always room for improvement of course, but not many complaints here.

  3. I hope you’re right about next week.

    Munster have always had to deal with massively-funded opposition, so I don’t think they’ll be taking any comfort from that fact. As you say, Munster have rarely played so badly, but what a time to implode! You’d have to regard a loss at Thomond PArk as a great opportunity wasted.

  4. Cant disagree with anything you wrote Bock. The losing BP might prove vital if we can pick up something next Sunday. Still a lot to play for.

  5. I think the resource issue is coming more into play as the professional era progresses: squads are built, management is developed, a supporter base is grown. Look back at some of the clubs that reached the European Cup final in the past and you know that there would be no prospect of them achieving such success now – Biarritz are struggling to stay among the leaders in Pro 2 and it is very hard to imagine that the fine but small Stade Aguilera will ever again host one of Europe’s top clubs (there were brief merger talks with Bayonne to create a club with a supporter base of 20,000 + but they stalled)

  6. The AIL has been demeaned and demoted to a point where most of the greatest supporters in the world in TP on Saturday evening wouldn’t find a club ground. Munsters supply line has been cut off, no budget to go to the market, development stalls. Clubs have distrust of Munster, the link is gone.

  7. Yep we were hammered – but I do have some optimism for next Sunday.

    A point touched on, but I think bears more mention – France’s international team is currently pretty mediocre, whereas Ireland’s is outstanding.
    However, a French club team (correctly estimated at 3/4 French players only) can come to Munster, a team very much the product of the Irish system,
    and show such superiority…no doubt due to their enormous budgets.

    Plenty of S Hemisphere players are obviously the difference (albeit some in the twilight of their careers).

    BUT, the Ireland team showed excellent performances against two of the three top SH sides. A puzzle perhaps.

    Is it down to coaching differences, confidence, or what…as they say – DISCUSS :)

  8. For the record, ASM started with ten French players – Domingo, Kayser, Ric, Chouly, Bonnaire, Radosavljevic, Lopez, Fofana, Rougerie plus Nakaitaci, who is French qualified.

    and Munster started with eleven Irish players

  9. Clernont wore the wrong jerseys.
    Obviously, since the way they physically hammered their opposition they were like Munster side in disguise.

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