Finn Russell Expert View: Write off bad loss in Belfast – boys will be at their best over in Paris

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There is no beating about the bush: that was an unacceptable performance in Ravenhill; the manner of the defeat was unacceptable. But if you contrast it with the character they have shown in the last few months, it wasn’t the real Munster at all. I think we saw a one-off slackening of the standards. There is no way that will happen in the Champions Cup this weekend.

It’s not too often that you hear Johann van Graan as frustrated as he was after the Ulster game. Generally he’s not a guy to give away too much, but you could feel the anger bubbling close to the surface in his post-match interviews. He was clearly concerned and it illustrates how poor Munster were.

Valid

But I think he made some very valid points too. Since the World Cup players came back into the fold it seems as if they have been playing catch-up, trying to learn how to play a slightly different Munster game, one that’s very different to what they were doing under Joe Schmidt. While the cohesion of the previous few months has not been seen since then, there has been a handful of spirited performances.

I was very impressed with them when they played in Connacht before

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