Murray Kinsella reports from Allianz Park
MUNSTER WERE BEATEN 33-10 by Saracens at Allianz Park this afternoon. You can read our full match report here.
Munster’s error count
Munster themselves flagged how vital a low error count was going to be this week, given that so many of Sarries’ scores tend to come directly from the mistakes of their opponents.
Peter O’Mahony leads his disappointed players off the pitch. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
No team goes out to make errors, but Munster’s were massively costly at Allianz Park. The opening score of the game came from Duncan Williams’ attempt to run the ball out of his own 22, while the first Saracens try came after Ian Keatley had kicked the pill dead.
The second try through Chris Aston followed a breakdown offence from Felix Jones. Elsewhere, Paul O’Connell was uncharacteristically loose in possession and others produced stifling errors.
Picking out individuals is not the point, rather that competing at this level in Europe means not making the kind of mistakes that allow the opposition easy ‘ins’ to making scoreboard gains.
Sarries on a different planet
In an overall sense, it was difficult to argue that Saracens’ 23-point winning margin did not tell the story of the game. In fact, a bonus-point try would have been well earned as Mark McCall’s men put in their strongest performance of the season.
Chris Wyles was excellent for Sarries after bring drafted in late. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
In contrast, Munster fell well below their own standards in a season that has been inconsistent. They are capable of far better than this showing when in form, but today Saracens were on a different level.
Even the basics of the game escaped Munster as they spilled possession, went off their feet at rucks and missed hits in open play. Discipline was poor for Munster too, but Saracens were impressively polished.
Though much of the focus in Ireland will be on Munster’s performance, Saracens turned up in impressive fashion to score three tries and generally look more than comfortable in victory.
Big Billy Vunipola carried hard, passed cleverly and contributed at the set-piece. Source: James Crombie/INPHO
There was direct power in their display, with the Vunipolas and centre pair Brad Barritt and Marcelo Bosch carrying strongly, but they also offered some clever flourishes in attack through their use of screen passes behind the same men.