Andy Friend was left to rue his side’s inability to score late on against Munster when the reds were down to 13 men.
The Connacht head coach was proud of another gutsy display from his players, but couldn’t hide his disappointment when the western province wasted an opportunity to snatch the game at the death.
Munster looked to have the game all wrapped up as they led 16-3 with only a few minutes remaining, but a try from Peter Sullivan in the 78th minute brought Connacht within touching distance of their opponents.
FT| Despite a late rally, we fall to a 16-10 defeat to Munster.
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) January 9, 2021
The visitors went down to 13 men in the final phase of play after Rory Scannell and Nick McCarthy were sent to the sin bin.
Despite having a scrum five metres out from the Munster try line with a two-man advantage, Connacht were unable to get the score that would have won them the game.
“I never doubt their fight, we stayed in it, we score that try and kick a beautiful goal. And we go 90 metres and we believe. But then we’ve a scrum against 13 men and we weren’t smart. It’s tough to work it out and bugger it up at the end.
“We talked about it. It shouldn’t take us 20 minutes to work out we can win a game of football. We are starting to unlock the power of that mind, when we do we will be really good,” Friend told the Irish Independent.
‘We were lucky in the end.’
Munster captain Peter O’Mahony acknowledged that his side were fortunate to come away with the win in the end, citing poor discipline as an area the team will need to work on.
“It was an incredibly physical and competitive derby match. They’re an incredibly impressive and proud team playing at home.
“It’s rare you come out of here with four points. These games are never done until the 80 minutes are up.
“We were lucky in the end. We conceded too many penalties, they forced us to do that. But indiscipline is the main reason we put ourselves under pressure. And they played well. We’re lucky to get out of here with a win.”