Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


Munster improving, but still not good enough - Alan Quinlan

Alan Quinlan sees improvement in Munster, but not enough to be enthusiastic about the rest of the season.

Munster legend Alan Quinlan joined Joe Molloy on Off The Ball to discuss Munster, their playing style and that game against Castres.

Gavin Coombes scored a walk-off try for Munster on Friday night.

They escaped France with a victory thanks to the boot of young Jack Crowley. But it wasn't a spectacle to watch and it wasn't a game that Munster fans will care to remember over the long-term. Johann Van Graan's side continue to be ineffective in what they try to do and unambitious in what they actually do.

Coombes' try at the death papered over the flaws in the side.

Alan Quinlan is by no means excited about where the team is headed but he sees this game as a step forward.

"The game was really poor to watch," Quinlan said.

"Castres made it so difficult for them. Munster have been criticized for being negative but Castres just not want to play on Friday night. Box kicking continuously even in good areas when they had possession. Munster tried to play. I don't have a problem with that, I have a problem with what I saw in Connacht where they didn't try and play."

Leinster beat Montpellier by scoring 89 points. They moved the ball around, involved different players and pulled the defence apart. Admittedly, Montpellier weren't interested in playing but Munster couldn't have done that against anyone right now.

Against Castres, they attempted to move the ball at times and mostly failed.

"They tried to change the point of attack on a number of occasions. Tried to get a bit of width in their game. Was it good enough? No. They need to get better, but they were trying and they need to be given a bit of credit for that. Castres were aggressive, they were in their faces a lot.

"A game like that, funnily enough, you can take a lot out of was a hard watch to be fair, but they won't care. To get the win there, it puts them in a great position."

Munster are in a good position. They will qualify for the next round. But anything else is unlikely. Joey Carbery's absence will continue to hurt, but Crowley's performance gives some optimism. The problem is Munster need three or four more young players to come through. Van Graan isn't looking to the future anymore. He probably never was.

Still, even while acknowledging all the problems, Munster have done something right recently. Quinlan acknowledged that.

"Without blocking everything out and ignoring the issues they have, it's been a positive two weeks for them. But they need to be a lot better than that. Wasps are going to be a big challenge at the weekend."

Munster won't win the Champions Cup. They likely won't win anything playing the way they are, but that's not news at this point. So this season is about getting better for next season and the incoming coaching staff.

Jack Crowley creates a problem for Munster, Ireland and the IRFU


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Alan Quinlan Castres Jack Crowley Johann Van Graan Munster