Thursday 19 September 2019

Johann van Graan: We will not blame refs, we had chances to win


Munster head coach Johann van Graan. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster head coach Johann van Graan. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Munster head coach Johann van Graan insists that Munster will not use poor refereeing decisions as an excuse for losing their last couple of games.

Leinster arrive in Limerick tomorrow looking to inflict a fifth straight derby defeat on Munster as their arch rivals look to snap their own two-game losing streak.

Van Graan's side were on the end of some questionable calls in Castres, while last weekend Ulster winger Robert Baloucoune should have been sent off inside the opening minute.

Three players have received retrospective bans from the last two games against Munster, including Baloucoune, who was handed a two-week suspension yesterday, but Van Graan is adamant that is not why his side lost both encounters.

"The most important thing was we said as a squad we weren't going to blame a referee," he said.

"Decisions get made and sometimes you get a rub of the green and sometimes you don't and that's why I commented over the last few weeks that all you want is consistency.

"That's not an excuse. We've got to play better and maybe the frustrating thing about it, if I can call it that, is that we had opportunities to win both games and we didn't. We will look to take those opportunities (tomorrow)."

Both teams will name their starting XVs at midday today. Chris Farrell (quad) and Rhys Marshall (hamstring) remain sidelined, but both have returned to modified training and are set to feature against Connacht next weekend.

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Van Graan confirmed that a couple of his Ireland internationals will be unavailable due to the IRFU's player management programme. Leinster are expected to recall a host of their heavy hitters, including No 8 Jack Conan.

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