Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies was left bemoaning his side’s costly mistakes after Munster proved too strong at Musgrave Park to move back to the top of the RaboDirect Pro12 table.
In wet and windy conditions the Welsh outfit began brightly enough but wave after wave of Munster pressure saw the defending champions chalk up a 12th straight win over the Scarlets and a 13th at home on the bounce.
Former All Blacks wing Doug Howlett and a penalty try gave the hosts a 20-9 lead at the break with the Scarlets relying on the boots of Dan Newton and Dale Ford to trouble the scorers.
And in the second half further Munster tries for replacements Duncan Williams and Tommy O’Donnell put the gloss on the hosts’ victory with Newton notching a fourth penalty for the Scarlets.
And while Davies acknowledged that travelling to Munster is always a daunting prospect, he believes his side shot themselves in the foot on Saturday.
“Some of the basics and foundations of our game were not there and although it was a dreadful night and the conditions didn't help us, we gave away far too many penalties which allowed them to control the game,” said Davies.
“There was a big emphasis on the scrum in those conditions but it was not functioning as it has so well this season. I've been pleased with our set-piece play up to this game, but it failed us.
"We were not as clinical as we should have been, we were a bit naïve and a lot of their points came from our inaccuracies and mistakes. Our unforced effort count was too high and we are going to have to put in some hard work this week.
"We are all bitterly disappointed with that score line, because there was a lot of hard work in that performance too and we have stayed in games and been competitive in our last five fixtures.
“The boys fronted up well but Munster have so much belief you cannot give them an inch or they will punish you.”
One shining light for the Scarlets was the performance of 19-year-old fullback Ford – something that did not go unnoticed in the away dug-out.
"I was really pleased with how Dale went at full-back, he played a competent game and given the opposition he will have gained a lot from this fixture away from home,” added Davies.
“His long-range kicks showed what he's capable of with the boot and I think there's lots of promise in him as a player for the future.”