Thursday 23 November 2017

WATCH - 'It's a stupid way to look at things' - Rassie Erasmus slaps down question after Munster lose PRO12 final

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Six-try Scarlets swept Munster's meek challenge aside to win a one-sided Guinness PRO12 final 46-22 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Wayne Pivac's men captured the Welsh region's second PRO12 title - and first since 2004 - as their devastatingly potent attack floored an Irish province for the second week running.

Impressive semi-final winners at Leinster, Scarlets sauntered into a 29-3 lead with four tries in the opening half an hour.

Coping much better with the greasy ball, Liam Williams, Steff Evans, Gareth Davies and Tadhg Beirne all touched down, with Rhys Patchell kicking nine points.

A converted 39th-minute score from Tyler Bleyendaal, adding to his early penalty, cut the deficit to 19 points for a rather shell-shocked Munster, who were wearing their changed navy strip.

Patchell responded with a 44th-minute penalty before a late flurry of scores, tries from Andrew Conway and Keith Earls being scant consolation for Munster as replacement DTH van der Merwe and James Davies took Scarlets' haul to six in the end.

With too many of their leading players off-form, Munster were unable to lift the trophy in Anthony Foley's memory as the hungrier and superior Scarlets condemned the province to their second PRO12 final defeat in three years.

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus reminded reporters after the game that last year Munster were battling to make it into the Champions Cup and 12 months later were contesting the PRO12 final.

He took issue with a question from a reporter who asked if Munster were a 'semi-final' team.

"I don't think we are a semi-final or final team, our aspiration is to win titles but you can only grow so much in a year," he said.

"Hopefully next year we can try and win a title. We don't want to go to semi-finals and finals and lose but this year.... then Leinster are a semi-final team, if that is what you're asking, and we're a final team. It's a very stupid way of looking at things because we've grown a lot but we didn't win a tournament.

"Hopefully, we can win it in the future."

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