Wednesday 23 May 2018

Brian O'Driscoll calls on Munster to add 'more firepower' to their squad after meek Champions Cup exit

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Racing 92 ripped the Munster defence to shreds with three tries in the opening 21 minutes to set up an eventual 27-22 win at Stade Chaban-Delmas that sealed their second Champions Cup final appearance.

Runners-up in 2016, the French giants will meet unbeaten Leinster in the decider in Bilbao in three weeks' time, while Munster return to domestic matters after suffering a stinging sixth European semi-final defeat since 2009.

Any thoughts of an all-Irish final quickly evaporated in the 28-degree Bordeaux heat, the travelling Munster hordes left reeling by Teddy Thomas' blistering brace of tries and a Thomas-created third converted score from Racing captain Maxime Machenaud.

The deficit was 24-3 at half-time, Ian Keatley and Machenaud trading penalties as Racing, who had lost three of their last meetings with the Irish province, continued to be ruthlessly efficient. Former Munster lock Donnacha Ryan was a central figure.

A Machenaud penalty took his haul to 17 points before his future club-mate Simon Zebo's 63rd-minute try sparked a revival which yielded further scores from Rhys Marshall (75) and Andrew Conway (80), closing the gap to five by the final whistle.

Munster have now lost six semi-finals in a row, five in Europe and Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll feels they need to invest in some new signings.

"They'll reflect on it and think, 'We came off second best, we didn't deserve it, we played against a better team'," he told BT Sport.

"They have to go back an re-evaluate where it is going wrong at this level and if they need another little bit of firepower.

"I think they are lacking in one or two positions and when their big players don't fire, when Murray was quiet in the first half and Stander was not at his best, I think they really struggle."

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