Wednesday 24 April 2019

Van Graan laments loss after Kleyn try ruled out

Scarlets 10-6 Munster

Munster's JJ Hanrahen kicks a penalty. Photo: Aled Llywelyn/Sportsfile
Munster's JJ Hanrahen kicks a penalty. Photo: Aled Llywelyn/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Johann van Graan insisted Munster remain in fine fettle despite being toppled from the top of Conference A following a defeat in the rain in Llanelli.

Glasgow now lead the way at the summit and Munster had only two Bill Johnston penalties to show for their efforts as the Scarlets came out on top thanks to a superb defensive shift.

Munster's Rory Scannell is tackled by Ioan Nicholas of Scarlets. Photo: Aled Llywelyn/Sportsfile
Munster's Rory Scannell is tackled by Ioan Nicholas of Scarlets. Photo: Aled Llywelyn/Sportsfile

The Irish raiders repeatedly smashed away in search of a try and time after time they went close to the line through their powerful forwards.

On each occasion, though, they either spilled the ball due to a combination of the poor conditions and handling errors, or were repelled by excellent home tackling.

Van Graan was left frustrated by the defeat, but his glass remained very much half full.

"The conditions were very tough. I thought we did such a lot of good stuff in that game and it's very frustrating not to score those tries," the South African said.

Munster's Dan Goggin is tackled by Ioan Nichols of Scarlets. Photo: Aled Llywelyn/Sportsfile
Munster's Dan Goggin is tackled by Ioan Nichols of Scarlets. Photo: Aled Llywelyn/Sportsfile

"We were literally half a metre away twice and we also had a disallowed try. They were big moments in the game, but all credit to the Scarlets and their defence.

"We did enough to win it, but credit to the Scarlets. We are still in a brilliant place.

Munster trailed 7-6 at the break and failed to score another point.

Johnston opened the scoring, but the Scarlets responded when the outstanding Leigh Halfpenny collected a high ball, ran it back, and from there Johnny McNicholl's superb offload sent his fellow wing Ioan Nicholas over to score, with Halfpenny converting.

Johnston did kick another penalty, but Munster couldn't make the most of their utter dominance of territory and possession.

In the second period Halfpenny kicked a penalty, but Munster had a score ruled out when Jean Kleyn went over. Rhys Marshall was penalised for blocking by the Television Match Official.

"It was a difficult call. Unfortunately it went against us and I'm not going to moan about it. The officials made a call and I respect that and we'll move on," Van Graan added.

"We had other opportunities to win."

Scarlets - Halfpenny; McNicholl (Evans 76), Fonotia, Asquith, Nicholas ; D Jones (Patchell 55), Hardy (Hidalgo-Clyne 72); W Jones (P Price 69), Elias (M Jones 69), Kruger, Helps (T Price 68), Rawlins, Macleod, Davis (Phillips 19), Cassiem

Munster - Haley; O'Mahony, Goggin (Taute 65), Scannell, Sweetnam; Johnston (Bleyendaal 68), Mathewson (Cronin 76); Loughman (O'Connor 65), Marshall (O'Byrne 65), Ryan (Archer 60), Kleyn (O'Shea 65), Holland, Wycherley, Oliver (O'Donoghue 54), Botha

ReF - M Adamson (SRU)

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