The challenge this week for Munster is to get over the disappointment of their loss to Leinster and focus on the daunting task that is facing the Exeter Chiefs in Sandy Park.
During this morning’s video review session, Munster will likely rue some missed chances they had in their opponents’ 22 while there are probably grievances over some of the big decisions in that game – both of which involved Keith Earls.
Earls, who saw yellow for making contact with James Lowe off the ball while the Kiwi winger was about to receive a pass, told the media today that he didn’t think Lowe would fall down so easily and that he disagrees with the penalty try decision.
“Obviously it was a split second decision, I do come in contact with him [James Lowe] but he’s a big enough lad, I didn’t think he would go down that easy,” Earls told the media with a wry smile.
“But look, if you go by the letter of the law, yeah, it probably is a yellow card but a penalty try, I don’t think so. Whether I was going to hold him up or the ball was going away from, he was reaching but that’s the decision the referee made.”
As much as losing to your bitter rivals is a valid reason for disappointment, Munster can’t focus on that – they have an even bigger task facing them on the south coast of England and Earls reveals that the squad will take confidence from what he believes to be Munster’s best performance in a long time.
“Yeah definitely, it’s the best we played in a long time.
“Obviously, last week against Ulster was great. To back it up against the European champions, albeit a few decisions not going our way, we put in a good account of ourselves.”
The Exeter Chiefs are six from six in this season’s Gallagher Premiership and Earls is under no illusions to the challenge which faces them on Saturday.
“Yeah, they have been flying it. They’re competing with the best, they’re up there with Saracens. They’re always in the mix in finals and semi-finals, they won it [Premiership] two years ago.
“They’re a physical side, they have a great kicking game. They’ve great individuals. The way they work together, their work rate is phenomenal. There is really no, bar one or two English lads, no massive egos or superstars there. They’re all well balanced and great individuals.”