'They looked nervous' - Luke Fitzgerald and The Left Wing analyse Munster's PRO12 final loss
The Left Wing's Luke Fitzgerald attributed nerves, making too many mistakes and not holding onto the ball in contact for Munster's PRO12 final loss against the Scarlets on Saturday.
Munster's 46-22 loss at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin was the largest defeat in PRO12 final history; as Rassie Erasmus' side conceded six tries in a lopsided defeat.
Munster turned the ball over a total of 18 times in the game and Fitzgerald attributed a sense of nervousness as a pivotal factor in their downfall.
"There was a lot of dropped balls, guys not being clear and concise.. especially in the contact area when they were going to the ground," Fitzgerald said on The Left Wing.
"There were lots of guys overrunning passes, lots of poor passes, that to me signalled they were nervous. You need your leaders to stand up in that period and I didn't think that they had their best games the Munster leaders.
"I thought some of the kicking from those guys was poor, because that helps you get into a game if those things aren't going well, because effectively you've just got to work hard and everyone has got to do that in a final."
Despite falling short in both the Champions Cup and the PRO12, the 2016/17 season represented one of Munster best campaigns of this decade, as Erasmus' side made the final four of the Champions Cup and the final of the PRO12.
Fitzgerald said that there was lot to look forward to about this Munster team heading into next season and that the province could use this experience as a potential motivating factor should they reach a similar juncture next season.
"Here it just looked like nerves, but maybe you need one or two of these things from a Leinster and Munster perspective to get you over the line," added Fitzgerald.
"That can be key. I know with Leinster myself with the team I was involved in, I was quite lucky, but the team before I came in had a few really tough losses.
"Sometimes you need those things to get you over the line. You need a couple of hard experiences, a couple of tough losses to build, to help you realise what really needs to happen if you want to win."