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'I felt sorry for them' | Alan Quinlan on 'very, very worrying' Munster

Alan Quinlan joined OTB AM this Monday to discuss Leinster's PRO14 final win against his old prov...



'I felt sorry for them' | Alan...
Rugby

'I felt sorry for them' | Alan Quinlan on 'very, very worrying' Munster

Alan Quinlan joined OTB AM this Monday to discuss Leinster's PRO14 final win against his old province Munster on Saturday.

Leinster were 16-6 winners at the RDS, to claim a fourth title in a row, with the victory their sixth in a row against Munster.

However the 10 point margin arguably flattered Munster, who struggled to get within striking distance of the Leinster tryline throughout the match.

With Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong and James Lowe all kept on the bench, many had tipped Munster to end their decade-long trophy drought. Speaking this morning, Alan Quinlan says the hype around Munster may have simply sharpened the Leinster focus.

"If I was a Leinster player last week and listening to a lot of the pundits talking and writing about how this is Munster's best chance, this is the best team on paper Munster have had, and people predicting they'd win, it would fire me up.

"I think we questioned the intensity of the derby matches a number of times over the years but Leinster seemed to come out really fired up with a point to prove that there's no let up from that, that their standards are as high as ever, that the quality is there and they're not going to roll over," he said.

Alan Quinlan | Back to the Drawing Board

However, the most worrying aspect of the performance for Quinny was how familiar it all felt.

Leinster's sixth win in a row against Munster is now a record of consecutive victories in this derby, and Quinny says the nature of the defeat may have a lasting effect on Johann van Graan's side.

"The worrying part here for me, is that it's back to the drawing board. They've lost ground here, having gained ground during the season, and that optimism hasn't been justified. It's back to square one again.

"They tried hard and if you look at the defensive stats, a lot of them had big numbers in the tackle counts, so they're working hard without the ball, and there was moments in the first half where they got a big moment here or there, but they've got to be more intelligent. I was really surprised with the panic.

"I wouldn't say it was an easy match, of course it was a physical match, but Leinster were never challenged for a sustained period of time. There was no moment in the second half when they were in the Leinster 22.

"I didn't even want to be hard on them after the game, I felt sorry for them. I had a real shock-factor. Losing the match didn't shock me, because I thought Munster would have to have had an A-Class performance to beat them, but it was very, very worrying. The psychological damage of this will be very telling," he added.

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