Gerry Thornley joined Monday Night Rugby to discuss Munster's loss to Cell C Sharks and John Ryan.
Munster were emphatically beaten in South Africa on Saturday.
They faced a team full of World Cup winners, so the odds were always stacked against them. But at halftime, they trailed by only three points. Somehow, they finished the game 15 points behind and that scoreline flattered their performance.
Cell C Sharks ran in four tries in the first 18 minutes of the second half. They drove right through Munster's forwards and ran in tries from distance with their backs. It was clear that Munster couldn't handle the physicality of their opponents or the heat and humidity in Durban.
Munster can't complain. They were the second-best team on the day. And they're likely not in that caliber of competition at this stage of their development cycle.
But Gerry Thornley thinks they could have been better equipped to handle the physicality of the Sharks. At the very least, they could have started with a solid scrum. And that meant retaining John Ryan before he left.
"I have it on pretty good authority that he was not given a very satisfactory offer to stay," Thornley said.
"And his agent then went and put out feelers. To get outbid by a Super Rugby team is very unusual. And if they had made a proper offer, given his young family, I'm sure he would have stayed. So that's on them. As is letting James Cronin go.
"They've been unlucky with signings, there's no doubt about it. RG Snyman and Malakai Fekitoa, they spent big money on those signings. But their whole signings and re-signings, they've left a lot of gaps there."
Munster have two games left this season and they have to face the Cell C Sharks in South Africa again. They face the Stormers in two weeks before that game and will need to win both games to extend their season in all likelihood.
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