MUNSTER coach Tony McGahan said last night's Pro12 defeat to Ulster, their last game of the year, was a "dampener" but expressed his satisfaction with the way the province had responded to a terrible start to 2011.
Last January, Munster were dumped out of the Heineken Cup at the pool stages for the first time since the late 1990s but went on to win the Magners League and have maintained a position at the business end of the Pro12 table this season, while amassing a four wins from four record in Europe.
"I think we would be pretty satisfied with where we are at this point in time, tonight puts a bit of dampener on it but from a Heineken Cup perspective, we couldn't have asked for a better position, although there is still a lot of work to do," he said.
"We need to get back to winning tough games on the road in the Pro12 when we are missing key players but I think overall we are in pretty stable position.
"In the second half, Ulster came out with a great intent to play and we were well beaten in the second half with regards to tempo and execution, having thought we were well in at half-time.
"We did some really good things in the first half but in the second there were too many unforced errors. We were in the ascendancy in the scrum in the first half but they came out in the second with more focus and maybe we got a little tired or a little complacent, I don't but the change around in dominance was a concern."
Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin was delighted with the bonus-point victory and said it vindicated his decision to go with an understrength selection against Leinster last Monday.
"We have got five points from two games. We were looking for four tonight and were hoping to scramble a point in the RDS but we are happy with our week's work," he said.
"A lot of credit has to go to the guys that played against Leinster, they made this possible."