Key Munster players such as Conor Murray and CJ Stander came back into form in their win over Ospreys, according to Bernard Jackman.

The southern province secured a bonus-point in their 33-6 win over Ospreys but will not progress to the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals.

While the team will be disappointed in failing to make the knock-out stages, Jackman told Off The Ball he was pleased to see a good performance nonetheless.

“It was a decent blow-out for them. They stuttered and coughed to get going but eventually, they got a bonus-point just after half time.

“In the end, it was all Munster and they got to use their bench. So I think it’s pleasing enough but it would have been a very hard week for them.

“They’ll just pack their bags now and concentrate on trying to have a good Pro14 campaign,” Jackman said.

Former Ireland international Fiona Steed was also happy with Munster’s performance and praised the young players after a good day out.

“I think they still had to play the game and they had to win and they had to prove that if it did come to it that they needed the bonus point to progress, that they were capable of getting it.

“So we knew, like you say, coming in that they weren't going to progress but they still had to give a good performance and they still had to get that result. Otherwise, people would be going, ‘Well, they wouldn’t have gotten it anyway.’

“It’s the best they could have hoped for today. I think there were some strong performances.

“We’ve alluded to it during the comms that the young lads coming through with Craig Casey coming on and Jack O’Donoghue were both really good.

John Cooney has been tipped by many to be Ireland’s starting scrum-half in the Six Nations but Jackman believes that Murray has put himself right back in contention with his performance today.

“I was leaning towards giving Cooney a start to really reward form but I thought Conor put his best foot forward today. He was really sharp and that’s what Andy Farrell will want.

“He’ll want players on-form. CJ had a very strong game and looked very dynamic. We know his work-rate is always very consistent.

“I think in general, all the Irish players that went to the World Cup are in very good form now.

“Some of them got back to form straight away but seeing Conor and CJ today really gives you confidence that Ireland have a cracking chance of having a good Six Nations,” Jackman said.

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Bernard Jackman Conor Murray Fiona Steed Heineken Champions Cup Munster Ospreys

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